In a joint cybersecurity advisory, several US government agencies warned that ransomware attacks on schools would likely increase in September. This might have been slightly more helpful if the advice came before the massive attack on the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), not after. Oops.
But it’s not likely to surprise anyone that schools are being targeted right now. There’s always a huge demand on schools’ IT infrastructures at the beginning of term, so it’s the perfect time for criminals to disrupt everything, cause chaos, apply pressure, and have the maximum chance of extorting a ransom.
Ransomware is becoming a seasonal threat, like severe weather. If a particular vertical has a busy season, chances of attacks rise along with the demands on the data center.
No information has been officially released about who attacked LAUSD, but the US multi-agency warning details the particular techniques used by Vice Society, “an intrusion, exfiltration, and extortion hacking group that first appeared in summer 2021.” This may or may not be coincidence.