Update on Union Community School District ransomware incident
On June 1, DataBreaches.net reported that DoppelPaymer threat actors had apparently attacked Union Community School District in Iowa and exfiltrated data about employees and students. Neither the district’s superintendent nor any board of education members had responded to this site’s inquiries about whether there had been any public disclosure of the breach that occurred in April or the subsequent data dump.
With no evidence that employees who were now at risk had been informed or that the community had been informed at all, and nothing in public school board meeting minutes to suggest that this had ever been discussed at any school board meeting, DataBreaches.net reported on the breach. To protect the privacy of employees and students, this site heavily redacted two screencaps taken from the dumped files.
This week, one local news outlet reported on the breach and did get a statement from the district. The statement did not reveal that not only had threat actors accessed files with employee and student information, but the threat actors had dumped the files on the dark web and made them freely available to anyone who wanted to download them.
On June 1, the same day this site was reporting on the breach, external counsel for the district filed a notification with the state. The notification, a copy of which is embedded below, claims that 550 Iowa residents were impacted, and that the district had no evidence that personal information had been obtained or misused.
Counsel’s statement is obviously incorrect. Part of their error may be due to them not having seen the May 28 data dump at the time the letter was written and sent to the state. Is the third-party forensic firm the district claims to have hired still working with the district?
People’s data are in the wild and remain available for free download by anyone who wants them. Those impacted or at risk should have found that out from the district instead of first learning that from this site. Even now, the district says it is reviewing files, when it surely must have looked at the data dump enough to know that it’s got a serious breach.612021_United_Community_School_Dist_3FA6D3DD971D1