As many of us were waking up to a brand new year, DataBreaches reported that LockBit 3.0 had claimed an attack on the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles (HACLA). Screencaps of directories and some files were provided by LockBit as proof of claims. Numerous news outlets picked up the news of the attack, and HACLA quickly confirmed that they were investigating what they called a “cyber event” that was causing disruptions.
On January 27, LockBit leaked what they claimed was the 15 TB of data they had exfiltrated. And on March 10, more than two months after discovering they had been attacked, HACLA issued a press release and notification.
Their notice states that HACLA discovered encrypted files on some of their systems on December 31 from what they now describe as a “complex cyber-attack.” Nowhere in their notice do they use the word “ransomware” or mention any ransom demand.
Upon discovery of the encryption, HACLA immediately shut down its network and started to investigate. Their forensic investigation determined there had been unauthorized access to certain servers between January 15, 2022 through December 31, 2022. It appears that HACLA never detected the intrusion and activities of the threat actors until they triggered the encryption at the final step.
On February 13, 2023, HACLA completed its review of impacted systems and determined that the impacted systems contained personal information.
“While the specific data elements vary for each affected individual, the scope of information 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/or medical information,” HACLA writes.
Those who are being notified — which presumably includes personnel as well as residents of the city who applied for housing assistance — are being offered one year of free credit monitoring services.
More information can be found on HACLA’s website at HACLA.org.
HACLA’s notice does not disclose how many people are being notified, nor whether this was reported to HHS. At the time of publication, the HACLA leak is still supposedly available on LockBit’s dark web server although the reserve server hosting the data appears to be offline.
This post will be updated when numbers are made available.