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Feb 29, 2016 09:47 AM EST

The University of California - Berkeley alerted its campus community to a data breach compromising financial information for more than 80,000 students, alumni, employees, and former employees.

UCB sent out letters to potentially affected people on Thursday and announced the data breach, which took place in Dec., on Friday. As is the case for several previous instances in which a hacker managed to raise the alarm at a major school, there has been no apparent theft of sensitive information.

According to, the school first noticed the breach in Jan. and found out the hackers managed to access the Berkeley Financial System, which manages purchasing and non-salary payments. Officials shut down the system for five days and concluded no information had been stolen.

As a precaution, the school encouraged students to "be alert to signs of any possible misuse of their information." To help ease students and faculty's minds, the school is offering credit protection free of charge.

"The security and privacy of the personal information provided to the university is of great importance to us," Paul Rivers, UCB's chief information security officer, said in the statement. "We regret that this occurred and have taken additional measures to better safeguard that information."

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