Los Angeles housing authority says cyberattack disrupting systems

The Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA) has confirmed that it is dealing with a cyberattack after the agency appeared on the leak site of the LockBit ransomware group. 

A spokesperson for the agency told The Record on Monday that it is working with cybersecurity experts and will try to continue operations while the issue gets resolved.

“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,” a spokesperson said. 

HACLA is one of the nation’s largest and oldest public housing authorities. The agency has an annual budget of more than $1 billion and provides housing to more than 19,000 families in the city.

This is the second major cyberattack on a L.A. agency after the Los Angeles Unified School District was attacked in September. The attack drew the attention of the White House because LAUSD is the second-largest school district in the country, and both the FBI and Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency were involved in response efforts

On December 31, the LockBit ransomware group said it stole 15 TB of data and gave HACLA a deadline of January 12 to pay an undisclosed ransom.

LockBit has targeted housing authorities in the past. The gang claimed it attacked the Chattanooga Housing Authority in November, but the attack was never confirmed by city officials, and the Indianapolis Housing Agency dealt with its own ransomware attack in October.

Ransomware groups have made a point of going after poorly-resourced local governments across the United States in 2022, targeting small governments in New JerseyColoradoOregonNew York and several other states.  

LockBit has become one of the most prolific cybercriminal gangs operating in recent months, attacking dozens of government agencies, hospitals and businesses across the world. 

Researchers have linked more than 1,029 attacks to LockBit since the group began its operation. 

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Jonathan Greig

Jonathan Greig

is a Breaking News Reporter at Recorded Future News. Jonathan has worked across the globe as a journalist since 2014. Before moving back to New York City, he worked for news outlets in South Africa, Jordan and Cambodia. He previously covered cybersecurity at ZDNet and TechRepublic.