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California School District Says Hackers Accessed Massive Database

The Los Angeles public school system, the second-largest within the US, said an extortionist group had accessed an enormous database but had not leaked as much sensitive information from it as initially feared.

Student and staff data of the Los Angeles Unified School District began appearing on the net on Sunday after it refused to pay a ransom to a bunch called Vice Society. The college system suffered a cyber attack on Labor day, and had been told that its data can be leaked if it didn’t pay to retrieve it.

Alberto M. Carvalho, the district’s superintendent, denied reports that psychiatric evaluations of scholars showed up on the net, adding that no health records were available online.

Carvalho said the hackers, who he said were possibly operating out of Russia, “touched” an enormous database which included social security numbers, health records and academic scores. Only a “very, very small percentage” of the information throughout the school’s IT systems was downloaded, he said, when his staff discovered the attack and acted quickly.

A lot of the data released on the net got here from an archived database of student information from 2013-2016, he said. Some personal data of personal contractors and temporary employees had also been leaked.

Carvalho didn’t imagine that the group would release any more data and was confident “that the experience specific to this bad actor has reached its conclusion,” he told a press conference on Monday after reiterating the district would stand by its decision to not pay a ransom.

Vice Society, which said it hacked quite a few school districts across the US, is a so-called hack-and-leak group that first appeared in the summertime of 2021, in keeping with the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.

On the selection of targets, the group said it hacked schools “because they’ll.” While it had previously bought the malicious software to focus on victims, it now uses its own latest software, a Vice Society spokesperson said in an emailed response to questions.

CISA recently warned that the group had turned its focus from health care to education, and believed the attacks may speed up as students return to class.



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