Hackers release stolen LAUSD data after district refuses to pay ransom

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Monday, October 3, 2022
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Hackers have released data stolen in a cyberattack against the Los Angeles Unified School District, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho confirmed.

LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- Hackers have released data stolen in a cyberattack against the Los Angeles Unified School District, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho confirmed Sunday.

"Unfortunately, as expected, data was recently released by a criminal organization," Carvalho said in a statement. "In partnership with law enforcement, our experts are analyzing the full extent of this data release."

The data was released Saturday -- two days before a deadline previously given by the hackers -- after Carvalho's stated refusal to pay ransom to an international hacking syndicate.

The group claiming responsibility for the cyberattack had previously set a Monday deadline for the district pay a ransom to the organization.

In a dark web post detected and reprinted by Brett Callow of the cybersecurity firm Emsisoft, the hacking syndicate Vice Society listed the LAUSD as one of "our partners," and stated, "The papers will be published by London time on October 4, 2022 at 12:00 a.m."

The post did not give any indication about what information had been obtained or what would be published.

Carvalho previously acknowledged that the district received a ransom demand from the group responsible for the Labor Day weekend hack -- which he declined to name.

"We can acknowledge ... that there has been communication from this actor (hacker) and we have been responsive without engaging in any type of negotiations," he told reporters. "With that said, we can acknowledge at this point ... that a financial demand has been made by this entity. We have not responded to that demand."

He did not provide specifics about the demand.

Carvalho told the Los Angeles Times on Friday that the district would not pay the ransom demand or negotiate with the hackers.

"What I can tell you is that the demand -- any demand -- would be absurd," he told the Times. "But this level of demand was, quite frankly, insulting. And we're not about to enter into negotiations with that type of entity."

A hotline will be available starting Monday at 6:00 a.m.

"This hotline will assist those from our school communities who may have questions or need additional support," Carvalho said.

The telephone number for the incident response hotline is (855) 926-1129. Hours of operation will be 6:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding major U.S. holidays.

City News Service contributed to this report.

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