FBI Investigates Online Theft of $3M from School District

A school district in Schenectady County in New York reports it was robbed of $3 million in late December. According to the district, the money was looted from the school's online bank account. Additional security precautions are now being taken.

The FBI is investigating the cyber-theft of roughly $3 million from a New York school district's bank account between Dec. 18 and 22.

According to the Duanesburg Central School District, there were attempts to steal roughly $3.8 million from a school account with NBT Bank via online access. "Of that amount, approximately $3 million was transferred-some of which was ultimately deposited in overseas bank accounts," said a statement on the school district's Website.

According to the statement, there was "an unauthorized electronic transfer of $1,862,400" Dec. 18, followed on Dec. 21 by "several different unauthorized electronic transfers totaling $1,190,400." On Dec. 22, multiple transfers were attempted that totaled $758,758.70.

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"Upon confirmation from the district that the request was indeed unauthorized, NBT Bank denied the pending Dec. 22 transactions," the district stated. "At this time, the two previous transactions were also discovered. The FBI was contacted and launched a criminal investigation." The New York State Police are also involved in the investigation.

In response to the attack, the statement said, "the district has restricted online access to all of its bank accounts and is requesting that all payments be sent and received via paper check until further notice. ... In addition, the district called in its external auditor to reconcile bank statements with all transactions and activity for the month of December ... [and] will also begin conducting a biweekly review of all cash transactions and bank activity."

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So far, "approximately $2.5 million has been recovered," the district said. "Efforts are still under way to catch the person or people responsible and recover the remaining $497,200" that was stolen.