Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho downplayed the severity of last month’s cyberattack and subsequent data leak of district information during a Monday news conference.
“Based on what we know today, we are able to confirm that the release was actually even more limited than we had originally anticipated, and based on what we’ve seen, there is at this point no evidence of widespread impact as far as truly sensitive, confidential information,” Carvalho said during the press conference.
The attack and system outage on LAUSD was first reported on Sept. 5, and caused cybersecurity experts and information technology employees to shut down the district’s computer systems in an attempt to remove any traces of the hack.
More recently, the crime syndicate, which stole an undisclosed amount of personal and private information, released the data online.
The superintendent also said some students’ personal information was accessed, including names, attendance and academic information, but added that that data appears to be outdated.
Carvalho did note that personal information on employees of district contractors was accessed.
Some parents of LAUSD students were worried about the cyberattack and release of data and did not feel that the district provided information about what was compromised and who was affected.
“The communication has actually been awful,” LAUSD parent Janna Schwartz told KTLA. “There has been no communication other than social media and in a district of 500,000 people, that is not an acceptable means of mass communication.”
Schwartz added that she was encouraged by the superintendent’s update Monday, but still worries about what hackers will do next.
A team of federal agents are working to contain the breach and go through the information that was leaked online.
However, cybersecurity experts said anyone associated with the LAUSD system should take action now by changing their passwords, signing up for security alerts and being aware that personal accounts could be targeted.
“If someone sends you an email saying, ‘Hey, I know about this information, about this attack and click on this,’ stay away from that and do not be attacked again,” Craig Lurey of Keeper Security told KTLA.
The district said that those affected by the cyberattack and data release will be contacted in the next few days. In the meantime, officials have set up a hotline for those in the community with questions or in need of additional support regarding the hack.
That number is 855-926-1129 and the phone line will be staffed from 6 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.