Orange County DA’s Office hit by computer breach; communications system taken down – Orange County Register | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

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Personal data for roughly 820,000 current and former New York City public school students was compromised in the hack of a widely used online grading and attendance system from Irvine-based Illuminate Education. (File photo)

The Orange County District Attorney’s Office information technology system was hacked over the weekend and portions of the system have been shut down while the agency investigates the damage, a spokesperson said Monday, Oct. 23.

Kimberly Edds said the office was alerted to the breach Friday by its cybersecurity program and immediately shut down the portion of the system that was hacked to prevent the damage from spreading to other areas.

She said the office is working with the FBI to investigate.

“We’re doing a full investigation and making sure we’re doing everything we can to mitigate the impact to public service,” Edds said.

She did not know the information that had been breached or whether it was a ransomware attack. No ransom demand had been made, Edds said.

“The extent (of the breach) is still being investigated,” she said.

Initially, the agency’s ability to send and receive email was affected.

“To contain any effects of the cybersecurity incident, we isolated our network communications,” said a news release sent by the office. “The District Attorney’s office immediately coordinated with partner agencies, including all law enforcement entities in Orange County, including the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.”

In May, the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department acknowledged paying $1.1 million in ransom to hackers who infiltrated the department’s computers earlier this year. Hackers had blocked access to important data. The county paid half of the ransom and its insurance carrier paid the rest.

The Los Angeles Unified School District was hacked last year, compromising about 2,000 student assessment records as well as positive COVID test results, driver’s license numbers and Social Security numbers.

This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.

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