The executive director of the Nishna Valley Family Y.M.C.A. in Atlantic says the organization has lost nearly $50,000 in a cyber attack. Y.M.C.A. executive director, Dan Haynes, told reporters this morning during a news conference, that their computer systems were recently infected by a virus that targeted what are called ACH or Automated Clearing House transactions on-line.
He said they found out about the problem from their financial institution on November 23rd. Haynes went on to say it does not appear the virus went after the personal financial information of members, but it’s possible some of that information, such as checking or bank account routing numbers, may have been compromised. He said those members who make one annual payment or those who do payroll deductions have not been affected.
Haynes said the authorities say anyone who has been a member of the Y.M.C.A. for longer than six months, their information is ok, but there’s no guarantee that is the case, because the incident is still under investigation. He said their computers are still be examined by the F-B-I, and they won’t know the full extent of the damage for at least another two to three months.
Haynes said the cyber-thieves are primarily targeting businesses that handle large electronic transfers, those over $100,000, for example. But anyone with concerns should take some precautions to make sure their money is safe. “They really should just contact their financial institution and get their best advice from them, we’re not bankers so we don’t know that,” Haynes says.
Experts also recommend contacting the three U-S credit reporting agencies to find out if there have been changes to your credit report. Haynes says the Y.M.C.A. does have high quality computer security systems, but the virus is virtually undetectable by antivirus software and current firewall technology, because it morphs or changes so frequently, those systems cannot keep up.
He added that this is the first time they have experienced this type of security breach, and they’re working with the authorities to make sure it doesn’t happen again. The theft means the Y.M.C.A. has had to dip into its reserve funds to pay the bills for the month of December.
Haynes says if those funds are not recovered, it may mean putting off the purchasing of new equipment or making some repairs, but it will not affect their financial assistance programs. If you have any questions about the ACH cyber attack on the Y.M.C.A.’s computers, call Dan Haynes at 712-243-3934.
By Ric Hanson, KJAN, Atlantic