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Los Angeles district says cyberthieves have released some of the data they stole last month

Oct. 3, 2022
The school system says it will not pay the ransom the thieves have demanded.

An international hacking syndicate that has claimed responsibility for a cyberattack on the Los Angeles Unified School District has reportedly released at least some of the information it says it has stolen .

The Los Angeles Daily News reports that the Vice Society — known for conducting ransomware attacks on educational institutions — had posted data on the dark web it claims to have stolen from the Los Angeles district.

The district said Friday that it was refusing to cave to the demands of a “criminal organization.”

“Los Angeles Unified remains firm that dollars must be used to fund students and education,” the district’s statement said. “Paying ransom never guarantees the full recovery of data, and Los Angeles Unified believes public dollars are better spent on our students rather than capitulating to a nefarious and illicit crime syndicate.”

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho confirmed Sunday on Twitter that “data was recently released,” though he did not specify what information — or whether that information is considered sensitive or confidential.

Law enforcement agencies generally advise districts not to pay ransom demands because doing so helps hackers fund their criminal operations and encourages similar entities to target educational institutions, he said.

In Los Angeles Unified's case, neither district officials nor federal investigators have confirmed the name of the group behind the hacking incident, but a number of cybersecurity experts believe that Vice Society, which has reportedly claimed responsibility, is behind the incident.

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