Let the finger pointing begin.
Who is to blame for the theft of over $416,000 from the county’s payroll account? How did cyber crooks from the Ukraine target Bullitt County, Ky., to scam for such a large amount of money?
The facts are that over the course of six days, unauthorized transactions were made by hacking into the county’s computer system.
The FBI is investigating.
According to most sources, including a wonderful documentation of the situation by Brian Krebs of The Washington Post, it is a sophisticated scheme.
While the FBI investigates what happened, local officials need to continue to make sure it doesn’t occur again.
County officials are talking with First Federal Savings Bank officials. The bank said security within its system didn’t allow any access into First Federal’s system.
According to Krebs’ account of the situation, it appears a Zeus virus got into the county treasurer’s computer and was then able to access information, such as passwords.
Were there ways the bank could have notified the county earlier of the unusual transactions? Are there safeguards the county officials need to take in the future? Is there any way to recover more than the $43,000 secured so far through insurance or other means?
The moral of the story is that internet crimes are real. They can happen to anyone or any institution.
County officials need to aggressively pursue whatever means necessary to make sure the safeguards are there. We really don’t believe getting away from on-line banking is the answer although it might cause the general public to beware.
The same safety tips are in place. If it is too good to be true, it probably is. Don’t respond or even open e-mails you are not familiar with. And don’t do anything that deals with sending money to another individual or company without knowing them personally.
Computers are wonderful. However, they may also be a very, very dangerous machine.