LA Housing Authority Suffers Year-Long Breach

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The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) has finally issued a public notice outlining the impact of a ransomware breach first reported at the start of this year.

The public agency, which claims to hold the largest stock of affordable housing in the city, acknowledged a “cyber-event that resulted in disruption to our systems” at the start of January 2023.

That followed claims from notorious ransomware group LockBit that it had stolen and would publish over 15TB of files from the authority.

Read more about the LockBit group: LockBit Remains Most Prolific Ransomware in Q3.

In a fresh update, HACLA has now confirmed it discovered encrypted files in its IT environment on December 31 2022.

“HACLA learned that it had been the victim of a complex cyber-attack. HACLA immediately shut down its servers and launched an investigation with the assistance of third-party forensic specialists to determine the nature and scope of the incident,” it continued.

“The forensic investigation determined there was unauthorized access to certain servers between January 15 2022 through December 31 2022.”

After undertaking a “comprehensive review” of all its data, it finally determined on February 13 2023 that the impacted systems contained personal information. It appears that the threat actors potentially have a treasure trove of data to use or sell on the dark web.

“While the specific data elements vary for each potentially affected individual, the scope of information potentially involved includes an individual’s name, Social Security number, date of birth, passport number, driver’s license number or state identification number, tax identification number, military identification number, government issued identification number, credit/debit card number, financial account number, health insurance information and medical information,” HACLA revealed.

The housing agency has informed the relevant authorities and the individuals impacted by the incident.

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