UC Berkeley emails, passwords leaked from 3rd-party websites, UC Berkeley not hacked

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A list of emails and passwords for UC Berkeley accounts appeared to be circling social media Friday, but according to campus spokesperson Janet Gilmore, the list is not as it seems.

Rumors began to spread Friday afternoon on social media that thousands of UC Berkeley email accounts and passwords were leaked publicly. According to Gilmore, however, the list was not gained through campus’s IT systems and campus was not hacked. Instead, she said, the information came from third-party websites and other means.

“Unfortunately, this is not uncommon, campus IT officials said, and there are many hackers and bad actors across the globe compiling lists of exposed usernames and passwords and sharing them,” Gilmore said in an email.

According to Gilmore, some people used their CalNet ID passwords as codes for third-party website accounts. She added, however, that fewer than 80 of the accounts involved a matching passphrase, and most of them were alumni accounts.

The campus IT administrators became aware of the leak earlier in the week, after which they froze the impacted accounts and prompted the individuals to change their passwords.

“Members of the UC Berkeley community are reminded never to use their CalNet passphrases as passwords for other accounts,” Gilmore said in the email.

Kate Finman is the executive news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.