Hackers give LAUSD until Monday to pay ransom

Hackers give LAUSD until Monday to pay ransom | EdSource

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The hackers gave the Los Angeles Unified School District until Monday to pay their ransom or have the district’s data published on the dark web. LAUSD hasn’t said how much the hackers are asking, but says it won’t pay ransoms or negotiate.

“Los Angeles Unified remains firm that the money should be used to fund students and education,” the district wrote in a press release. “Paying a ransom never guarantees full data recovery, and Los Angeles Unified believes that public money is better spent on our students than capitulating to a nefarious and illicit crime syndicate.”

A countdown is visible on a dark web website hosted by ViceSociety, which claimed the hack discovered over Labor Day weekend. According to screenshots, the site specifies that the information will be published Monday at midnight London time, or 4 p.m. in Los Angeles.

Neither LAUSD nor law enforcement have said whether Vice Society was indeed responsible. However, a cybersecurity consulting reported earlier this month that Vice Society was largely targeting the education sector.

LAUSD said it is still working to find out what information was hacked. According to a news release, the district does not believe employee health care and payroll information was affected.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the White House, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency have all been involved in the fight against the hack. The district also established a task force of security experts to review the impact and make recommendations in a 90-day report.

According to Brett Callow, threat analyst at Emsisoft, at least 27 school districts and 28 colleges have been affected by ransomware this year. He wrote on Twitter that at least 36 pieces of data were stolen and released, and that, including LAUSD, Vice Society alone affected at least nine school districts.

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Hackers give LAUSD until Monday to pay ransom

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