Schools in the nation’s second largest school district opened on Tuesday after the attack, but access to email, applications and IT systems has been disrupted.
A ransomware attack that struck during Labor Day weekend continues to disrupt the Los Angeles Unified School District’s access to email, applications and computer systems.
The attack, which the district said was “likely criminal in nature,” has not affected employee health care and payroll or any of the safety and emergency mechanisms in place at schools, officials said in their announcement. Additionally, schools should be able to provide instruction and transportation, food and after school services, but business operations may be delayed or modified.
The Los Angeles Unified School District is the second largest in the nation, with more than 640,000 K-12 students. The district includes Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities and several unincorporated sections of Los Angeles County.
Schools remain open as the IT Division works with law enforcement agencies, the U.S. Department of Education, the FBI and the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency on the investigation and rolling out interim procedures and solutions. District officials are also consulting with public and private-sector cybersecurity professionals to work out additional protections for the district and recommendations on systemwide protective measures.
Students and employees have been required to change their passwords using computers at a district school site. On Tuesday, District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho tweeted that over 53,000 students and staff had already changed their passwords despite capacity issues. He added that the IT Department restored the integrated student information system and that digital attendance reporting was back online.
Meanwhile, the district has made IT staff available at all sites to assist with technical issues, and the district formed an independent IT task force to develop recommendations within 90 days. Also in the works is reorganization of departments and systems to bolster safeguards, a forensic review and creation and deployment of an expert team to assess needs and support deployment of immediate solutions. The district said funding would be appropriated “to support Information Technology Division infrastructure enhancement.”