Hackers have stolen roughly $498,000 from the city of Tallahassee’s employee payroll system, according to the Tallahassee Democrat.
The city, home to about 191,000 people, is the state capital of Florida. According to the report:
- The attack apparently targeted a third-party vendor that hosts the city's payroll services, and direct deposit paychecks were redirected.
- The attack likely originated from outside the United States.
- Despite the attack, all employees have since been paid.
- The city is working with its bank to recover the money and already has recouped 25 percent of the missing funds. It is also in touch with its insurance company and law enforcement to pursue criminal charges.
The report did not disclose potential MSSPs and cybersecurity consulting firms involved in the investigation.
Hackers, Ransomware, Phishing and Digital Crime
Hackers increasingly target municipalities, financial services firms and payroll systems to steal or demand digital funds. Recent attacks have involved:
- Malta’s Bank of Valletta (BOV) was hit by cyber robbers in a €13 million (US$14.7 million) theft in February 2019.
- The city of Albany, New York, suffered a ransomware cyberattack in late March 2019.
- Jackson County, Georgia officials paid cybercriminals $400,000 after a cyberattack shut down the county’s computer systems in March 2019.
- Atlanta, Georgia suffered a major ransomware attack in 2018 and the cleanup costs may top $17 million.
- Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) employee computers temporarily were shut down due to a SamSam ransomware virus cyberattack in early 2018.