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City Loses Funds After Systems Infected

The Californian city of Carson was left almost $450,000 USD out of pocket after a spyware-infected system in use by the city's Treasurer provided attackers with the details necessary to gain access to the city's online bank accounts.

Over two transactions (of $90,000 and $358,000) in late May, the attackers were able to wire the funds to accounts across the country. Fortunately for the taxpayers of Carson, the city was able able to recover all but $45,000 USD.

This isn't the first time this year that a Californian city has lost tax payer's money due to remote attackers, with the city of Willows having lost $4,000 from a city fund earlier this year.

In an effort to offset the risk of further loss, the Treasurer has mentioned the prospect of seeking out legislation to address the problem. The only problem with this is that it is already illegal to carry out attacks like this, and additional legal restrictions are unlikely to result in any difference in how often attacks are carried out.

2 June 2007

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