APS to spend $300,000 responding to September cyber scam

The Norse Attack Map shows the locations of targets and attackers for online attacks worldwide. (CASEY SYKES, CASEY.SYKES@AJC.COM)
The Norse Attack Map shows the locations of targets and attackers for online attacks worldwide. (CASEY SYKES, CASEY.SYKES@AJC.COM)

A September email phishing attack in which online thieves stole paychecks from 27 Atlanta Public Schools employees will cost the district roughly $300,000.

Online scammers tricked unsuspecting employees into clicking on a fake link that allowed thieves to access payroll login information and reroute direct deposits. The district immediately announced it would repay employees for the stolen paychecks, which cost the district $56,459.

As part of its response to the attack, APS spent $150,000 for a one-time “forensic investigation” done in coordination with law enforcement to review the breach, according to a district spokesman. The district also will spend $32,653 a year for three years on a contact with Wombat Security Technologies to educate staff and students about cyber security.

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