Just days after a warning was issued that a cyber criminal gang planned attacks against U.S. banking customers, the City of Burlington, Washington’s bank account was the victim of having US$400,000 stolen by a cyber criminal gang. See New Cyber Criminal Organization To Attack Bank Customers.
The City of Burlington stated that “Among those impacted by the breach are employees participating in Burlington’s electronic payroll deposit program and utility customers enrolled in the city’s autopay program for sewer and storm drain charges.
In an alert issued this morning, city administrator Bryan Harrison said all autopay customers should assume that their name, bank account number and routing number was comprised following an intrusion into a city utility billing system.
He urged affected customers to immediately contact their bank to flag or close their accounts.
All employees participating in the city’s electronic payroll deposit program have also been asked to close out their old accounts and establish a new one as a result of the breach, Harrison told Computerworld Monday.
The employees have also been asked to notify major credit-reporting agencies about the breach and to alert them about the potential for identity theft.”
“In most incidents, the cybercrooks first stole usernames and passwords used by to gain access to bank accounts. The stolen credentials were then used to log into the online accounts and wire transfer money to mule accounts in the United States and abroad.”
As you can see, this type of theft, even to a municipality, involves extensive inconvenience to all involved, including the employees of the city. The theft of the funds is the tip of the iceberg here. The real losses will come from identity theft of the employees whose credit account and personally identifiable information was stolen.
There’s no sure protection against Internet and computer banking fraud. But you can keep a close watch on your bank accounts for unauthorized transactions and report them to your banking institution immediately.
Reference: Network World.com article
Be very careful…it’s dangerous out there.
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