$2.3m stolen via emails targeting Peterborough finance department

The US Secret Service is investigating after millions of dollars are stolen from the city of Peterborough through an elaborate scheme. Officials said cyberattacks like this have become more common in cities and towns across the county. In Peterborough, investigators said criminals used email twice to access city authority funds. On July 26, city officials learned that the ConVal School District had not received its $1.2 million monthly transfer from the city. >>Full statement from city officialsOfficials believe the thieves targeted the city’s finance department through fraudulent emails disguised to look like they came from the school district and contractors. “This is done through an ACH transfer. Upon further investigation, we have discovered that fraudulent activity has occurred,” said city administrator Nicole MacStay. MacStay said the transfer was changed from ConVal’s bank to a bank controlled by criminals. “We immediately called NH Primex, which is our insurance company. That’s standard protocol. They called ATOM Group, a cybersecurity and US Secret Service company,” she said. An investigation has been launched to find the missing money. fairly quickly, that the transfer had already gone into cryptocurrency, which made it very difficult to recover,” MacStay said. Investigators found that more funds had been stolen. “Two other transfers didn’t go where they were intended, that is, for Beck and Bellucci, the general contractor working on the Main Street Bridge project,” she said. “They were actually communicating with these criminals, who committed an incredibly professional forgery. Pretend their emails were from the entities we expected.” While there is no evidence that this was an inside job, finance department personnel who were directly targeted in this fraud are on leave until the Secret Service completes the investigation. MacStay said the decision was procedural.

The US Secret Service is investigating after millions of dollars are stolen from the city of Peterborough through an elaborate scheme.

Officials said cyberattacks like this have become more common in cities and towns across the county. In Peterborough, investigators said criminals used email twice to access city authority funds.

On July 26, city officials learned that the ConVal School District had not received its $1.2 million monthly transfer from the city.

>> Full declaration of elected municipal officials

Officials believe the thieves targeted the city’s finance department through fraudulent emails disguised to look like they came from the school district and contractors.

“This is done through an ACH transfer. Upon further investigation, we have discovered that fraudulent activity has occurred,” said city administrator Nicole MacStay.

MacStay said the transfer was changed from ConVal’s bank to a bank controlled by criminals.

“We immediately called NH Primex, which is our insurance company. That’s standard protocol. They called ATOM Group, a cybersecurity and US Secret Service company,” she said.

An investigation was opened to find the missing money.

“We discovered however, quite quickly, that the transfer had already gone into cryptocurrency, which made it very difficult to recover,” MacStay said.

Investigators discovered that even more funds had been stolen.

“Two other transfers didn’t go where they were intended, which was for Beck and Bellucci, the general contractor working on the Main Street Bridge project,” she said. “They were actually communicating with these criminals, who did an incredibly professional forgery. Make it look like their emails were from the entities we were expecting.”

Although there is no evidence that this was an inside job, finance department personnel who were directly targeted in this fraud are on leave until the Secret Service completes the investigation. investigation. MacStay said the decision was procedural.

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