Cyber-criminals attack Atlanta, Fulton, and Clayton school distr - CBS46 News

Cyber-criminals attack Atlanta, Fulton, and Clayton school districts, paychecks stolen

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

It turns out Fulton County and Clayton County were hit with a similar e-mail phishing scams as the ones that targeted Atlanta Public Schools employees.

In Fulton County, a total of 46 employees had their direct deposit paychecks diverted to cyber thieves' bank accounts, causing a combined loss of about $75,000. Clayton County was able to stop the transfers in their district before it was too late.

Now CBS46 is learning other employees in those districts, who did not click, are still potentially at risk because hackers could have accessed databases through the gullible employees who were connected to the network.

In a statement, an Atlanta Public Schools spokesperson told CBS46 cyber-criminals launched an internet phishing attack on the school system Friday. Criminals lured unsuspecting employees into clicking on a fake link that gave the scammers access to personal login information.

The thieves re-routed the employees' direct deposit to accounts they set up. Fewer than 40 employees were initially affected. The Georgia Bureau of Investigation requested assistance from the Secret Service, which determined confidential employee data was potentially exposed for all employees.

School district officials were not able to determine what type of private information the criminals obtained. They said they're working with the Secret Service to come up with new security measures, and they're considering identify theft protection measures for employees. 

The president of the Georgia Federation of Teachers Union, Verdalia Turner, represents 1,200 Atlanta teachers, secretaries and paraprofessionals. In a statement, she said:

"I'm not surprised at anything that happens in the Atlanta Public School System. Once confidence is lost, it's lost. I would start by changing the superintendent and the board to make sure we have a transparent school board and a superintendent who is an employee of the school board, instead of the other way around."

Atlanta Public Schools confirms the criminals stole more than $56,000 in payroll money. The district reimbursed employees whose money was stolen.

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