Poughkeepsie, N.Y., slams bank for $378,000 online theft

Poughkeepsie, N.Y., slams bank for $378,000 online theft
Poughkeepsie, N.Y., slams bank for $378,000 online theft 

By Jaikumar Vijayan
February 8, 2010

The theft of $378,000 from the town of Poughkeepsie, N.Y., is prompting 
questions about the responsibility of banks to protect customer accounts 
from online criminals.

In a statement last week, a Poughkeepsie town official revealed that 
thieves had broken into the town's TD Bank NA account and transferred 
$378,000 to accounts in the Ukraine.

The thefts took place over a two-day period in mid-January during which 
a total of nine attempts were made to steal money. In the end, four of 
the attempts were successful, resulting in the lost money.

The thefts were discovered by town officials one day after they 
occurred. So far, TD Bank has managed to recover $95,000, with efforts 
still under way to try and recover the rest. The theft is being 
investigated by local police, the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service.

It was not clear how the thieves gained access to the town's bank 
account, and there was no immediate response from Town Supervisor 
Patricia Meyers to a Computerworld request for comment. But in other 
such cases, crooks typically break into commercial and retail bank 
accounts using stolen log-in credentials belonging to authorized users 
to transfer large sums of money to banks outside the U.S.


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