Hackers Hit 73% of Los Angeles Businesses: DA

At a tech summit, Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said she believes the country could one day can be "brought to its knees by hackers"

Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey said Friday that most Los Angeles businesses have been the victims of some sort of hack and most have failed to report it to police or authorities.

"It's happening to almost every business," said Lacey, while attending the Information Systems Security Summit in Universal City.

She said 73 percent of businesses appear to have been hacked, she said.

Many businesses don't want to report this because it will drive away business, she said.

Stan Stahl, the president of the Information System Security Association, which represents security leaders in business, said there has always been a reluctance due to "bad publicity."

"But we are seeing a change," he said. "It is no longer unexpected that an organization is going to be breached. It’s now about what to do next and how to collaborate with police to find the hackers."

Lacey said despite California law requiring businesses to report hacks that compromise consumer data, there is no time requirement in the law.

Businesses could wait months or years before reporting it to authorities, she said.

"It is much more important that they timely tell people about it, so we can find out and preserve data to find out who these people are, who the hackers are," said Lacey.

Lacey says the DA's office is working to make reporting easier by setting up a task force of prosecutors and businesses leaders.

"We've got some tools that we can use," she said. "Maybe the tools we've used to bring down drug cartels can be used to bring down cyber criminals."

NBC4 first reported Lacey was the victim of a phishing scam that compromised her Facebook page in February.

Lacey admitted to NBC4 that her Twitter account was also attacked and she told the audience that her elderly grandmother was duped into sending money to a hacker who posed as law enforcement in Europe.

"People know I am the district attorney with access to my own police force so if they will go after me, they will not think twice going after the average consumer."

Lacey recommends consumers use one computer, a secure email and secure internet while using sites that has require your personal information.

She also said to stay clear of emails asking for personal information and clear your computers of cookies that retain passwords and personal information.

"I believe that this country one day can be brought to its knees by hackers, it that serious."

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