Investigators from the U.S. Secret Service said Thursday they have traced the hacking of City of Burlington’s bank account through Fiji into Ukraine. And the investigation is still ongoing.
Last week, Burlington officials noticed nearly $490,000 was stolen out of the general fund. More than 100 employees and 200 residents were told to change their bank account information because of the security breach. Insurance and Bank of America are expected to ensure the city does not lose the money forever.
As for how the breach took place, Special Agent in Charge Jim Helminski said the hacking was from overseas, and likely stemmed from a computer virus.
“Someone opened up a file that contained malware,” Helminski explained, “Once they had access to the accounts, they also had a system in place where money was wired to other personal accounts.”
Investigators continue to trace who is responsible for the hacking.
Burlington’s incident is the latest in a series of breaches that have taken place at cities nationwide, although they are not related. Helminski suggested it’s a sign of the increased efforts by hackers and the need for governments and businesses to step up online defenses.