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L.A. Schools Don't Pay Ransom; Hackers Release Data Illegally

Criminals who hacked the Los Angeles public school system released illegally obtained data over the weekend after the superintendent refused to pay a ransom. “Unfortunately, as expected, data was recently released by a criminal organization,” said Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Albert Carvalho, the Wall Street Journal reports. “In partnership with law enforcement, our experts are analyzing the full extent of this data release.” Carvalho didn’t reveal the demands made by the criminal organization or the type of data that was released. The cyberattack on the Los Angeles public school system, the nation's second-largest after New York City, began during Labor Day weekend as students prepared to return to the classroom.

The school district didn’t name the group suspected in the ransomware attack that nearly shut down the district’s online systems ahead of the first day of school on Sept. 6. Carvalho said school officials and law enforcement were aware a data release was imminent, adding that he didn’t believe that giving in to blackmail would solve the problem. “Paying ransom never guarantees the full recovery of data,” Carvalho said. “Los Angeles Unified believes public dollars are better spent on our students rather than capitulating to a nefarious and illicit crime syndicate.” The FBI, the White House, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency and numerous cybersecurity experts were involved in the investigation of the ransomware attack, Carvalho said.


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