(WJLA) - The University of Maryland says it had just recently doubled its number of IT security engineers, analysts, and security tools. But still, hackers somehow managed to carry out a sophisticated attack early Tuesday morning.
"It's scary," says student Ricky Bailey. "I just got the email about an hour ago, and I don't think people realize how serious it is just yet."
In a letter sent on Wednesday evening, President Wallace Loh said that the database that was breached contained more than 300,000 records of faculty, staff, students, and affiliated personnel from the College Park and Shady Grove campuses since 1998.
Those records include name, social security number, date of birth, and university ID number.
"My social security is out there somewhere, so I'm definitely worried what's going to happen," says student Nykolaus Pinnock.
"Once this hacker has the information, there's nothing else anyone can do about it," adds Nicole Collins. "It's a huge deal and a huge inconvenience to everyone affected."
The university is promising to do better and to help students get through the breach – but many still find it very unsettling.
"You're investing a lot in the school, and you hope they at least protect your identity and the stuff you trust them with," says student Matt Bringuier.
But some students aren't placing the university entirely at fault:
"There's no real way to be foolproof...it can happen to anybody and I don't really blame the university," says Numa Robertson.
The University is reportedly offering one year of free credit monitoring to everyone affected .