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Los Angeles Housing Authority Hit by Ransomware Attack

LA Housing Authority building at 2600 Wilshire Blvd. Los Angeles (Google Maps, Illustration by Priyanka Modi for The Real Deal with Getty)

A ransomware gang is threatening to publish a large volume of data it stole from the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles unless a ransom is paid, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Last week, LockBit stole 15 terabytes of data from the housing authority, which provides housing and runs the federal voucher programs for 83,000 low-income families in the city, TechCrunch reported. The ransomware group threatened to release the information on Thursday if its demands were not met.

The data, according to the Times, ranged in terms of its sensitivity, from a holiday video to payroll, audit information and taxes.

HACLA said in a statement last Monday that it was assessing the damage tied to a “cyber event.”

“We are working diligently with third-party specialists to investigate the source of this disruption, confirm its impact on our systems, and to restore full functionality securely to our environment as soon as possible,” the statement said, according to the Los Angeles Times. “We remain committed to providing quality work as we continue to resolve this issue.

It’s the second recent cyber attack on a Los Angeles public agency to have been attacked recently. The Los Angeles Unified School District was targeted in September by the ransomware group Vice Society, which published stores of data, including Social Security numbers, health information and students’ psychological assessments, when the district refused to pay.

The attack on the housing authority comes at a particularly difficult time for a housing authority that is among the largest in the nation.

In October, after opening its Section 8 waitlist for the first time in five years, the housing received 223,400 applications for low-income housing, the LAist reported.

LockBit recently apologized for an attack on Canada’s largest children’s hospital, placing blame on an affiliate group.

— Ted Glanzer

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