Hackers steal more than $450,000 from City of Burlington

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by JOHN LANGELER / KING 5 News

Bio | Email | Follow: @jlangelerKING5

KING5.com

Posted on October 13, 2012 at 5:11 PM

Updated Saturday, Oct 13 at 5:20 PM

The City of Burlington is struggling after someone stole $487,000 from the city's $4 million general fund at Bank of America. 

"We really don't know exactly how it happened," said City Manager Bryan Harrison. "Multiple banks in multiple states involved."

"Someone, either through the city system or Bank of America had actually accessed our electric authorization account."

Basically, hackers got into the city's payroll, got their hands on passwords and other information, and made three separate withdrawals

"I guess it was shocking that somebody was able to do it,” said Chris Loving, Burlington City Council. "We had a budget meeting, well, they canceled that because we may not have a budget till we know where this money is."

He had to do what all 100 or so city employees had to do.

"I've had to go in and change my bank account,” he said.

Not only were city workers affected, around 200 homeowners on the Burlington sewer system had to change their information as well.  Their online auto pay was compromised, prompting this warning from the city's website.

Mount Vernon Police and U.S. Secret Service is investigating.  They believe the money has been shifted to different banks around the world.

Officials say they will recover the money that was stolen, and that it will not affect city business.
  
The rest of Burlington's general fund money has been temporarily moved from Bank of America.

Anyone with questions should visit http://www.ci.burlington.wa.us

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