Companies often say “we don’t need security, why would anyone attack us?” Sometimes hackers take valuable company intellectual property, sometimes names and addresses, and even sometimes they take money.
That is exactly what happened to a Berks County, PA, train engine parts manufacturer as a hacker got into its computer system and stole almost $200,000, state police said.
The banking system at CWI Railroad System Specialists, a Barto company, ended up hacked last month, troopers said.
The hacker entered the company’s system and issued payments to banks in Virginia, police said.
No arrests have been made but state police and the FBI continue to investigate.
Using the Internet protocol address, which is essentially each electronic device’s license plate number, investigators were able to track the origin of the attack.
“The IP address of the hacker’s computer comes from Virginia,” Trooper David C. Beohm said. “Once they got into the computer, the hacker made payments to four different banks in Virginia.”
A total of $190,000 went to the banks Aug. 24 and 27, investigators said.
“Malware must have been placed somewhere to make the withdrawal,” CWI Vice President Greg Scott said Sunday. “There is only one computer in our company that has access to our Quaker National Bank account. I don’t know how they could have gotten to it.”
According to investigators, people were waiting at the banks to either deposit the money into an account or cash the checks.
The bank’s fraud protection covered most, but not all, of the stolen money, Scott said. He said bank officials said up to 90 percent of the money has protection.
“I’m very frustrated and confused as to why they wouldn’t cover the whole transaction,” he said.
“It is sad,” Scott added. “We have a very protected server, so it can happen to anybody.”