Los Angeles school district faces ransomware attack

The Los Angeles Unified School District, the second largest collection of public schools in the United States, said it was targeted by a ransomware attack over the Labor Day weekend.
The cyber attack caused significant disruption, but did not lead to cancellation of classes, The Los Angeles Unified School District said.

Los Angeles Unified detected unusual activity in its Information Technology systems over the weekend, which after an initial review, can be confirmed as an external cyber attack on our Information Technology assets, the district said in a statement on Tuesday.

Schools remained open on Tuesday but the statement said “business operations may be delayed or modified.

The attack was likely criminal in nature and it implemented a response protocol to mitigate Districtwide disruptions, including access to email, computer systems and applications.

The statement did not specify what information, if any, was breached. It said that employee healthcare and payroll information and the safety and emergency mechanisms in schools were not affected by the attack.

The White House said it spoke with the district about the attack. It was unclear who was responsible for the attack.

Separately, U.S. government agencies issued a public advisory on Tuesday saying a ransomware gang known as Vice Society, which emerged last year, has been disproportionately targeting the education sector with ransomware attacks.

The agencies anticipate attacks may increase as the 2022-23 school year begins and ransomware groups perceive opportunities for successful attacks, the advisory said.