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Los Angeles Unified School District Hit by Ransomware Attack

The FBI and CISA have asked school authorities to employ more robust cybersecurity solutions as cyber attacks on schools are rising.

Los Angeles Unified School District Hit by Ransomware Attack
  • PublishedSeptember 8, 2022
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The second largest school district in the United States of America suffered a ransomware attack over the weekend. The incident came to light when Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) detected unusual activities in its system.

Los Angeles Unified acts swiftly

After an initial review, the school authorities contacted law enforcement agencies, who confirmed that the external cyber-attack was criminal in nature. Though the reported attack caused “severe disruption”, the incident did not lead to the cancellation of classes. The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Department of Homeland Securities, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) are investigating the case.

The cybercriminals behind the ransomware attack have not yet been identified. As the investigation is ongoing, not much has been disclosed by the school district.

Password reset initiated

Even though no ransom has been demanded yet, Los Angeles Unified has requested all its students and employees to reset their passwords at District sites. Moreover, the students who have enrolled in virtual academies have been asked to reach out to the district’s hotline number in case they need help with remote password reset. This is essential to secure their accounts from attackers.

Despite the ransomware attack, the school reopened the following week. The attack impacted the IT systems of the school. Though some facilities were not working to their full capacity, the school confirmed that the employee healthcare, payroll, safety, and emergency mechanism were safe from the attack. Other facilities like food, Beyond the Bell suite that offers learning tools and services, and specific business operations continued to experience disruption.

The school thanked everyone for their support and standing with them through the difficult times. “Thank you to our students, families and employees for doing their part in the ongoing recovery from his weekend’s cyberattack,” read the circular on the school’s official website.

Schools, a soft target

LAUSD incorporates Los Angeles, 31 smaller municipalities and other Los Angeles Country unincorporated sections. It has over 640,000 students from kindergarten to 12th grade and houses over 1000 schools and over 200 public charter schools. The school system handles the student and staff’s personal and professional details. This makes higher security measures imperative for their safety.

The FBI and CISA against Vice Society

The FBI and CISA have asked school authorities to employ more robust cybersecurity solutions as cyber attacks on schools are rising. Vice Society, a group, targeting the education sector for ransomware, was also warned against by law enforcement agencies.

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The Cyber Express is a publication that aims to provide the latest news and analysis about the information security industry. The news comes from a variety of sources and is updated regularly so that readers can stay up to date with the latest happenings in this rapidly growing field.

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