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Hackers Target Los Angeles School District with Ransomware


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With over 400,000 students in grades K-12, the Los Angeles Unified School District is one of the largest school districts in the United States. On September 6, the county became the latest target of ransomware. In a statement published online, district administrators said they had detected “unusual activity” in its networks, saying it had been targeted by ransomware; Despite the attack, the students were able to go to school.

The attack prompted a massive response from officials, with the FBI and Department of Homeland Security assisting local law enforcement. Students and staff have lost access to their email systems, local report says. It’s also not clear, according to report, whether student information, including disciplinary and evaluation records, was accessed by attackers. The district says that students and staff must reset their passwords to their school accounts while attending school at district school sites. Officials said in a statement.

The Vice Society ransomware group announced responsible for the attack. After the incident, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Agency (CISA) and other partners published a warning about the Vice Society, saying it was “disproportionately targeted in the field of education.” The Los Angeles attack is the latest attack on educational institutions: According to a reported by security company Sophos based on a survey of 499 respondents, 56% of lower education and 64% of higher education institutions have been attacked by ransomware in the past year, a “significant increase” from the previous year.

In July, Albanian government websites were taken down. Last month, researchers from security firm Mandiant revealed that Iranian hackers, working on behalf of Tehran, was likely behind the attacks that cost public services hours. “These are disruptive attacks that affect the lives of Albanians living in the NATO alliance,” said John Hultquist, Mandiant’s vice president of intelligence. WIRED when it publishes its findings.

This week, the Albanian government took an unprecedented step to cut diplomatic relations with Iran, accusing it of launching the cyberattack. It also ordered Iranian embassy staff to leave the country. Prime Minister Edi Rama said: “The in-depth investigation has produced undeniable evidence that the cyber attack against our country was organized and sponsored by the Islamic Republic of Iran. (Microsoft conduct investigation for the Albanian government.)





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