Weekly Cybersecurity Recap October 7

  • By Steven
  • Oct 07, 2022

In 2022, the number of hacks across the country, and even the world, were lower than in 2021. This might sound like an improvement, but it's not. Consider that over 2020 and 2021, everyone was in quarantine– including the hackers. They were bored and had nothing to do, so they hacked into systems purely for fun. In 2022, the hackers had to go back to work, meaning less time for their, well, we'll say, questionable activities. Let’s take a look at this week’s most mentioned.

Los Angeles Unified School District

The LAUSD is the second-largest school system in the US, with over 600,000 students. On September 3rd, 2022, a ransomware attack occurred in the Los Angeles Unified School District. The school refused to pay the ransom. Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said, “Los Angeles Unified remains firm that dollars must be used to fund students and education. 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.” Following this statement, a Russian-speaking group called Vice Society released the personal information of students and teachers two days before the ransom deadline.

Suffolk County, New York

Suffolk County is located in Long Island, New York. The county has about 1.5 million residents. On September 8th, 2022, a ransomware attack shut down most of the Suffolk County government systems and some independent contractors’ systems. The amount of money demanded by the bad actors, a group known as BlackCat or ALPHV, has not been disclosed to the public. According to DataBreach.net, ALPHV stated, “The Suffolk County Government was attacked. Along with the government network, the networks of several contractors were encrypted as well. Due to the fact that Suffolk County Government and the aforementioned companies are not communicating with us, we are publishing sample documents extracted from the government and contractor network.”

CommonSpirit Health

CommonSpirit Health is a Catholic company with many subsidiary hospitals. In 2019, it was the second-biggest not-for-profit healthcare system in the US. Hospitals in Tennessee, Georgia, and Omaha appear to be being hit the hardest; patients must wait for blood transfusions and procedures until their information is accessible. The hospitals are refusing to pay the ransoms, as is their policy with any hack. CommonSpirit’s Omaha spokeswoman, Taylor Miller, stated that particular systems were taken offline as a “precautionary measure.”

State Websites

All US states have a website dedicated to educating the people on the happenings of the state and its government. A Russian group called Killnet claimed responsibility for the hack. The hack occurred on October 5th, 2022. The county has been responding to emergency calls and running its government agencies the old-fashioned way, with paper and pen. The system shutdown has hit realtors and other contract-driven agencies very hard. 

Oath Keeper Member List

The Oath Keepers are a group of far-right paramilitary that oppose the US government and claim to be protecting the US Constitution. They are primarily responsible for the attack on the Capitol on January 6th, 2020. Their member list was recently leaked to the public, releasing all members’ names, emails, and professions. Founder Elmer Stewart Rhodes is facing charges of seditious conspiracy.

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