Los Angeles School District Hit by Cyber Attack

Los Angeles School District Hit by Cyber Attack

Ronaldo Felix, Reporter

Alarms were sounded across the country after the attack on the Los Angeles Unified School District. Late Saturday night, on September 3, the first signs of ransomware were discovered to mandate password changes for540,000 students and 70,000 district employees, which is a lot of people.  After that happened there were urgent talks with the White House and the National Security Council.

The technology that was used encrypts data and won’t unlock it until a certain ransom is paid. As the pandemic forced reliance on technology since last year, with several high-profile incidents reported, the attacks have become a growing threat to U.S. schools.

“This was an act of cowardice,” said Nick Melvoin, the school board vice president. “A criminal act against kids, against their teachers, and an education system.”

At the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, ransomware analyst Brett Callow said that 26 U.S. school districts-including LA-and 24 colleges and universities have been hit by ransomware.

If the victims don’t pay the ransom, the Cyber criminals use the same technology to steal more sensitive information and demand payment.  Then if the victim doesn’t pay, the criminals dump the data online. Callow said at least 31 schools had their information dumped online. He also said that 8 of the school districts were hit since August 1st.