National News

Cyber-criminals attack Atlanta Public Schools, paychecks stolen

Posted October 4, 2017 11:38 a.m. EDT

— Cyber-criminals attacked Atlanta Public Schools, tricking some employees out of their paychecks and potentially exposing private information of more than 3,800 district employees.

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 them 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.