Tuesday, October 16, 2012
Police in Burlington, Wash., reported they suspect cyber thieves transferred approximately $400,000 out of a city account over a recent two-day period. The money allegedly went to a network of personal and business accounts across the United States.
The city confirmed the hack when it posted an alert warning utility customers that their personal information on the utility's automatic bill pay system was compromised. Burlington police said the personal information of city employees in Burlington's direct deposit program was also stolen before the breach was discovered.
The emergency alert was posted on the city's website by City Administrator Bryan Harrison, who urged customers to immediately contact their banks. "If you are enrolled in Autopay, you should assume that your name, bank, bank account number and routing number have been compromised," he wrote. He also informed customers that the city had closed its hacked account, provided instructions on alternative ways to make payments and apologized for the inconvenience.
The U.S. Secret Service Puget Sound Electronic Crimes Task Force is investigating the theft, which was reported Oct. 11, 2012. The Burlington Police Department said it will not take part in the investigation because police investigators are also potential victims.
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