IE 11 Not Supported

For optimal browsing, we recommend Chrome, Firefox or Safari browsers.

Louisiana Special School District Hit by Cyber Attack

A data breach in June by the Akira Ransomware Group exposed files containing personal identifiable information. Officials don't know if the attackers copied those files, but they expect the district to recover by Aug. 1.

Cyber attack concept. Bright text on digital lcd display with reflection. 3D rendering.
(TNS) — Personal information, including student and employee Social Security numbers and addresses, was compromised in a cyber attack on the Louisiana Special School District, the district said.

In a news release Wednesday, the school district said it began notifying employees last month of a data breach on its server by the Akira Ransomware Group, which was discovered May 24.

The district contacted Louisiana State Police upon discovery of the incident, the news release said.

"Law enforcement subsequently confirmed that bad actors accessed the SSD's network and had the capability to exfiltrate data from the network," the school district said in a letter to employees. "SSD successfully remediated the vulnerabilities within its network."

The district said it expects to have all services fully functional by Aug. 1.

While there is no proof that files from the server were copied, the files were encrypted and the hackers could have access to personal information, the news release said.

Files from across the school district were breached, including the human resources office, business office, the Louisiana School for the Deaf, the Louisiana School for the Visually Impaired, and the Special Schools Program, the news release said.

The files contained personal identifiable information, such as student and employee names, addresses, telephone numbers, Social Security numbers and limited staff and student medical information.

Students' families, former employees, beneficiaries and others who may be impacted by the breach will receive notices starting the week of July 8.

David Martin, Louisiana Special School District superintendent, said the district has upgraded its network and security protocols following the cyber attack.

People who think they may have been impacted or need additional information can email The school district will update its website with information beginning next week, the news release said.

"Ensuring we protect stakeholder data and privacy is a priority," Martin said. "It is unfortunate that bad actors were able to infiltrate our systems through a 'brute force' attack, even though we contracted with third party servicers to have the proper security measures in place."

©2024 The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.