Chaos continues as district tries to recover from systems hack

Major outages continue a full week after the cyber attack that forced LAUSD to completely shut down all online systems.

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CREDIT: SANTERI VIINAMAKI | CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

The Los Angeles Times reported that a cybercriminal syndicate out of Russia has taken responsibility for hacking LAUSD’s system, compromising passwords and other data.

A full week after the cyber attack that forced LAUSD to completely shut down all online systems, disruptions continue even as many students, teachers and administrators are able to access their accounts after many days of being locked out.

Superintendent Alberto Carvalho confirmed that this unusual activity was a ransomware attack. On Friday, the Los Angeles Times reported that a cybercriminal syndicate operating out of Russia calling itself Vice Society claimed responsibility for the attacks, but LAUSD would not confirm this information. The FBI is investigating. District officials are not certain if personal data was compromised.

The attack has forced all users to reset their passwords, a slow process that overwhelmed LAUSD servers.

On Friday, students reported difficulties in accessing Schoology, the learning management system where grades and assignments are accessed, Google apps, and email, just as they had experienced earlier last week. Major slowdowns of wifi and spotty outages continued to wreak havoc in the classrooms and offices.

Many students who on Wednesday and Thursday were able to reset their passwords and access systems were met with error messages when they tried to log in on Friday. They were directed to reset their passwords or completely locked out again with messages that read either “Too many reset attempts” or “invalid password.”

“I just take it one step at a time and try to sympathize with teachers because I can see their frustration and them trying to find different ways like using paper,” senior Carol Ortiz said.

As a result of the outages and general chaos, many teachers have not been able to update grades. As a result the deadline for the semester’s five-week progress report has been extended one week from 3 p.m. Sept. 16 to 3 p.m. Sept. 23.