Cyber ​​thieves steal $3.5 million in Quincy pension fund hack

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The phishing email scam targeted city employee pension funds.

Cyber ​​thieves have hacked into the Quincy City Employees’ Pension Fund and taken away $3.5 million in an email phishing scam, according to local reports.

The hack allegedly took place a year ago, but has only just come to light. According to The Patriot RegistryJohn Parsons, executive director of the Public Employee Retirement Administration Commission, said the transaction was “the result of human error and a failure of security controls”.

A Quincy Retirement Board investment officer reportedly received an email from a former employee’s board account, which had been hacked, requesting a wire transfer of $3.5 million. The manager then followed the instructions of the fraudulent email, according to the big Book report.

The stolen money was intended for the pensions of 3,000 city employees – the funds were to go to current workers as well as retirees and surviving family members of deceased employees.

Although the hack took place in February 2021, the council did not discover the transfer until months later and then reported it in October 2021. The commission is currently investigating the council.

WCVB cited a council attorney, who said an unauthorized user compromised the city’s email system by impersonating council staff. The thief then “persuaded one of the Commission’s investment managers to transfer $3.5 million to a third-party bank with which the Commission did not have an account,” according to the report.

The theft occurred amid warnings of rising pension funds from hackers. Parsons told the register the investigation will take months and a public report will be released on the findings.

Quincy officials told WCVB there is no threat that members of the pension system will go unpaid. The system has hundreds of millions in assets and annual payouts are only a small fraction, according to the report.



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