A hacker contacted the Los Angeles Information Technology Agency last week and claiming to have stolen personal information of 2,500 members of the LAPD and 17,500 applicants to the police force.
“Out of an abundance of caution we’re applying extra layers of security around our personnel system and enhancing defenses,” L.A. General Manager Ted Ross told NBCLA.
The agency received a message from the self-proclaimed hacker who offered to provide evidence that the names, partial Social Security numbers, birthdates, email addresses and passwords.
Los Angeles Police Protective League, according to the news outlet, asked the city “to provide the necessary resources and assistance to any impacted officer who may become the victim of identity theft as a result of this negligence, so that they may restore their credit and/or financial standing.”
The department began alerting potential victims over the weekend.
“There isn’t much difference in this incident than what has been happening across other state and city governments in Florida, Baltimore and Atlanta. Even Louisiana declared a Cybersecurity State of Emergency last week,” said Terence Jackson, CISO at Thycotic, who explained “attackers are attacking these targets because of the criticality of the data they store and now the precedent has been set that insurance companies will foot the bill for the ransom.”
LAPD may not have labeled the breach as a ransomware attack,
Chris Morales, head of security analytics at Vectra said, “data has been exfiltrated and will likely appear on the dark web for sale soon.”
Names and email addresses aren’t difficult to come by, he said. “The last bit, the password, is the one that matters the most here. Those should obviously be changed immediately for the impacted site,” he said. “Every person compromised should also verify if they have reused that password in other locations, which is the highest value of obtaining a password.”