The Los Angeles Community College District has paid a US$28,000 ransomware after crooks compromised its network. Fortunately, the school retrieved data.
A Los Angeles school has paid a US$28,000 ransomware after crooks compromised its network. Cyber criminalsÂ encrypted computer services, including email systems, at the Los Angeles Community College District. The ransomware used in the attackÂ encrypted hundreds of thousands of files on New Years Eve.Â This is one of the highest publicly-known ransomware demands to be paid.
The school opted to pay the ransom becauseÂ it failed to backup its dataÂ belonging 1,800 staff and 20,000 students.
âHackers recently broke into Valley Collegeâs servers seizing file, email and messaging systems and are ransoming them for almost $30,000. The cyber attackers left the college a note on one of its serversâ X-drives, requesting the money to be paid by BitCoin.â reportedÂ the campus newspaperÂ The Valley Star.
âYou have 7 days to send us the BitCoin after 7 days we will remove your private keys and itâs impossible to recover your files,â said the ransom note that appeared on the collegeâs servers six days ago.â
The Los Angeles Community College District officially issued an official statement to explain the decision of paying the ransom.
âIn consultation with district and college leadership, outside cybersecurity experts and law enforcement, a payment was made by the District.â states the report published by the school. âIt was the assessment of our outside cybersecurity experts that making a payment would offer an extremely high probability of restoring access to the affected systems, while failure to pay would virtually guarantee that data would be lost.â
The college confirmed that the investigation is ongoing and thatÂ student data was not compromised due to the cyberÂ attack.
âAt this early stage of this complex investigation, no data breach has been identified; however, we will continue to communicate with the LAVC community and the public as the investigation proceeds.â reads the report.
Fortunately, after the payment was made by the school, crooks delivered a âkeyâ to allow the college decrypt data.
In March 2016, a ransomware infected systems at theÂ US Hollywood Presbyterian Medical CenterÂ in Los Angeles, in that case, the hospital paid about $17,000 to the crooks for restoring patientsâ files.