FBI issues cyber security advisory for same hacking group that hit Linn-Mar

A picture of a Linn-Mar School District computer screen showing the notice from a ransomware...
A picture of a Linn-Mar School District computer screen showing the notice from a ransomware attack.(none)
Published: Sep. 7, 2022 at 12:41 PM CDT
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MARION, Iowa (KCRG) - The FBI issued a Cyber Security Advisory on Tuesday for the same hacking group that has targeted at least one eastern Iowa School District.

The FBI says hacking group Vice Society is increasingly targeting school districts nationwide. Vice Society is an intrusion, exfiltration, and extortion hacking group that first appeared in the summer of 2021.

The group targets schools because of the amount of sensitive staff and student data, and then threatens to publish the information unless a ransom is paid.

KCRG-TV9 obtained images showing a computer at Linn-Mar that claimed the hacking group had encrypted the district’s files. Linn-Mar has not acknowledged publicly that it faced a ransomware attack.

Cedar Rapids Schools also faced a ransomware attack in July but has not said whether Vice Society was responsible. It alerted nearly 9-thousand current and former staff their data may have been compromised but has not said whether student data was safe. The district did pay a ransom but has refused to say how much or give any other specifics on the attack.

The FBI recommends organizations, particularly the education sector, establish and maintain strong liaison relationships with the FBI Field Office in their region and their regional CISA Cybersecurity Advisor to prevent these kinds of attacks.