The town of Burlington, Washington fell victim to a recent attack by a band of unknown hackers, stealing $400,000 in the operation. Odds are that taxpayer data was stolen, also.
Burlington officials have warned residents in the city that their private data could have been stolen, and becoming targets for identity theft. A number of billing systems in the town were attacked, notably the online automatic utility billing system, which holds a large amount of resident data. Once these systems were attacked, the band of hackers were able to leak $400,000 out of the city’s funds.
According to Computer World, an alert [that was] issued this morning, city administrator Bryan Harrison said all autopay customers should assume that their name, bank account number and routing number was compromised following an intrusion into a city utility billing system.
Authorities are still investigating this issue, and will provide updates soon.
- Police: Hackers Take $400,000 From Washington City Account (seattle.cbslocal.com)
- Hackers steal $487K from Washington town (kgw.com)
Let’s say you get a call from a tech support company (unsolicited) and they say something like: “Your computer is infected, we need to remote in and fix it for you. Please pay $120 for this service now in order for us to continue”:
Cut it off! HANG UP!
This type of call is a popular scam. Once you agree to allow them to do their “tech support”, they may ask for your username and password for a popular service or router, etc. This is dangerous, because of the possibility for identity theft.
Here are the tips to prevent problems:
- Hang up is really the best option.
- Do not trust these calls! Do not provide personal information!
- Do not purchase software or services of any kind. Decline all payments.
- Never give control of your computer to a third party unless you know 100% sure it is legitimate.
Have you already been a victim? Do the following:
- Change your password on all of your services or websites. Particularly those that have personal information access, including social networks and email.
- Scan your computer for viruses using a good antivirus program.
Lately, smartphone users mainly, have received SMS text messages regarding Best Buy Gift Card for free. The main lead to the Best Buy site was actually a fake Best Buy site. The prefix of the URL was http://www.bestbuy.com however, the suffix of the URL was fake. So, a URL like http://www.bestbuy.com.fake.url.biz (fake.url placed in for example only) could be the full address in some cases.
Do not click this link in your text message (or even email).
The text messages commonly received appear like the following:
Your entry in our drawing WON you a FREE $1,000 Best Buy Giftcard! Enter “123” at http://www.bestbuy.com.fake.url.biz to claim it and we can ship it to you immediately!
If you receive a text message or email such as this: IGNORE IT! You will save yourself TIME, MONEY, and even IDENTITY!