Los Angeles Students Have Mental Health Information Exposed

  • By Steven
  • Feb 28, 2023

Los Angeles School District Data Breach

The Los Angeles Unified School District is just one of many districts around the country that are currently being targeted by ransomware gangs. These districts are known for having poor security and for offering access to a wealth of useful data that can be stolen by hackers. The Los Angeles district includes more than 1,000 different schools and over 565,000 students. In a recent attack, the mental health evaluations and medical history information for over 2,000 students was stolen and released to the public in a harmful act that violates the privacy of so many trusting students and families. 

How Did the Attack Occur?

In a recent attack by Vice Society, a ransomware gang based in Russia, more than 2,000 student mental health records and psychological evaluations were exposed to the dark web. These students were members of the Los Angeles school district at one point. Approximately 60 current students were exposed, and many others that were students over the past decade were also exposed. Many of the students exposed were a part of the special education program at the school, and they suffered a huge invasion of privacy by having their detailed psychological evaluations and mental health information leaked to the public. The attack wasn't disclosed by the school district after it happened, which is a clear sign that student privacy isn't being protected as well as it should be. 

What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?

Detailed mental health information gathered by the Los Angeles school district was leaked to the Dark Web in this ransomware attack. The information includes detailed health records, medical histories, disciplinary records, and academic performance information. The information was for 60 current students and hundreds of past students. The worst part of this attack is that most students and parents have no idea that it even happened. The school district never disclosed information about the attack because it isn't legally required. 

How Did Business Admit to the Breach?

An investigation by The 74 released details about the attack from the ransomware gang Vice Society. It wasn't until after a story was released about the attack that the school district admitted to suffering from an attack at all. The school district isn't sending out individual letters to impacted victims, and if you or your child was a student in the Los Angeles school district, they might have been impacted by this data leak. 

What Will Become of the Stolen Information?

All the information gathered in this ransomware attack has been released to the Dark Web. It can be accessed by any individuals with access to the Dark Web and may be utilized for fraudulent activities or for harassment when possible. 

What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?

Any impacted party from this cyber attack should monitor their credit history for any odd activities. Since the majority of the information released is just medical information, the students aren't likely to suffer from any financial issues due to the attacks, but it's still a huge invasion of privacy that school districts should be working to prevent actively.

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