The nation’s second largest school district is still recovering from a ransomware attack that took place over a month ago. In an Oct. 2 update, Los Angeles Unified School District’s (LAUSD) Superintendent Albert Carvalho said the syndicate group responsible for the cyberattack has leaked the stolen data.
Carvalho publicly refused to pay the ransom amount as a tradeoff for students’ private information on Sept. 30.
“Los Angeles Unified remains firm that dollars must be used to fund students and education,” the most recent LAUSD press release said. “Paying ransom never guarantees the full recovery of data, and Los Angeles Unified believes public dollars are better spent on our students rather than capitulating to a nefarious and illicit crime syndicate.”
Since the cyberattack occurred over Labor Day weekend, LAUSD has been working “diligently” alongside local law enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency.
Carvalho told the Los Angeles Times that he believed confidential information of employees was not stolen. He was less certain about information related to students, like “names, grades, course schedules, disciplinary records, and disability status.”
The newspaper reports that screenshots of the hack appeared to show some social security numbers, but the investigation to the full extent of the release is still ongoing.
The school district has continued normal instruction and operations since the cyberattack and remains proud of that fact despite the “unsettling experience.”
At the time of the hack, critical internal LAUSD systems were shut down, but were almost immediately back up and running. The biggest haul was getting nearly 700,000 students and staff to change their passwords.
LAUSD has set up a hotline for students, parents, teachers, or anyone in the school community who might have questions or need support.
“To our school community and partners, we will update you when we have relevant information, and notify you if your personal information is impacted, as appropriate,” the press release said. “We also expect to provide credit monitoring services, as appropriate, to impacted individuals. We will have more to share about how to sign up for credit monitoring services in the coming days.”