Ransomware attack on Indianapolis Housing Agency leaks sensitive info on 200,000 residents
The Indianapolis Housing Agency is notifying more than 200,000 people that their information, including Social Security numbers and more, was leaked during a ransomware attack in that began in September.
The federally-funded agency is responsible for providing housing to low-income tenants across Indianapolis. It did not respond to requests for comment in October when the attack was revealed but reported the incident to the Maine Attorney General’s office last week, explaining that 212,910 people were affected.
The agency submitted two separate versions of the breach notification letter – one for adults affected and one for children who had information leaked in the incident.
In the letters, the agency says the ransomware attack was discovered on October 4 when they noticed unusual activity in their IT environment. They noted that the breach started on September 23.
Security experts were hired to investigate the incident and it was revealed that names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers were leaked during the attack.
Victims are being provided with 12 months of IDX identity protection services that includes identity theft recovery services and a $1,000,000 insurance reimbursement policy. The agency said IDX “will help resolve issues if your child’s identity is compromised.”
In October, the Indianapolis Star reported that the attack crippled the agency’s ability to send more than 8,000 crucial rent payments to landlords operating under the Section 8 federal housing choice voucher program.
The newspaper noted that in total, about 25,000 people rely on the agency for a variety of services and it also runs several public housing buildings.
Employees of the agency were forced to send checks out manually and were locked out of email systems for days.
The agency later told Fox59 that it had reported the attack to law enforcement.
Housing authorities have been a ripe target for ransomware groups because of the sensitive information they carry about both residents and suppliers as well as employees.
The LockBit ransomware group attacked the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles earlier this month and the Chattanooga Housing Authority in November. The attacks are part of a larger trend of ransomware groups targeting poorly resourced local government agencies across the United States.
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.