Pension hack could hold lessons for other Pa. communities

Written by Rachel McDevitt/Radio Pennsylvania | Aug 8, 2016 3:53 AM

(Undated) -- Hackers have stolen more than $100,000 from a small western Pennsylvania borough's pension fund.

Cybersecurity experts say the breach could hold lessons for other municipalities.

Allegheny County police are now investigating two unauthorized wire transfers in June and July that took $130,000 from Avalon's police pension fund.

Anne McKenna has written a book on computer crime litigation and is now an assistant professor of law at Penn State.

She says many factors will play a role in how the borough recoups this loss, including how the breach occurred.

"Was somebody negligent or not careful with passwords or something that led to this?" she said. "Or was this a hack that really couldn't have been prevented and came from truly an outside source?"

McKenna says to help prevent these crimes in the future, municipalities of all sizes should frequently check their accounts, safeguard and regularly change passwords and have responsibilities clearly outlined in their banking agreements.

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