LAUSD, One of the Largest School Districts in the U.S., Suffers Ransomware Attack
Even Though the Systems Are Still Impacted, School Opened Yesterday.
Last updated on September 7, 2022
Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), the largest public school system in California and the 2nd largest public school district in the United States, revealed that last weekend it had been the victim of a ransomware incident that impacted its Information Technology (IT) systems.
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The LAUSD had 664,774 students enrolled for the 2020–2021 school year, including 50,805 adult students and 124,400 students attending independent charter schools. During the same academic year, it had 25,088 teachers and 50,586 other employees.
According to Wikipedia, it is the second largest employer in Los Angeles County, after the county government.
The school district initially announced districtwide technical problems after determining that the threat actors had interfered with access to LAUSD systems, including email servers.
The institution admitted that this was a ransomware operation and classified the event as “criminal in nature” approximately seven hours later.
As per BleepingComputer, Los Angeles Unified School District has reported the cyberattack and is collaborating with the FBI and CISA as part of an ongoing investigation and incident response.
After the District contacted officials over the holiday weekend, the White House brought together the Department of Education, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security’s Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to provide rapid, incident response support to Los Angeles Unified, building on the immediate support by local law enforcement agencies.
At the District’s request, agencies marshaled significant resources to assess, protect and advise Los Angeles Unified’s response, as well as future planned mitigation protocols.
Despite the fact that the attack affected LAUSD systems, the district stated schools will remain open while it strived to restore affected servers, with certain services expected to be delayed.
While we do not expect major technical issues that will prevent Los Angeles Unified from providing instruction and transportation, food or Beyond the Bell services, business operations may be delayed or modified.
Based on a preliminary analysis of critical business systems, employee healthcare and payroll are not impacted, nor has the cyber incident impacted safety and emergency mechanisms in place at schools.
The district further stated that this event had no impact on personnel, instruction, or payroll processes.
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