FDNY: Hacker stole firefighters' pay, rerouted it to Russia

The thief was able to exploit a computer virus to retrieve the firefighters’ names and passwords from their work computer


NEW YORK — A hacker stole the paychecks from four FDNY firefighters by breaking into a computer at their engine company.

New York Post reported that the firefighters, from Staten Island’s Engine Company 167, discovered their paychecks hadn’t been direct-deposited into their bank accounts about three weeks ago.

“The victims found no deposits. When they called payroll, they found that their paychecks had been ‘rerouted,’” a source explained.

City Department of Investigation probers suspect the thief was able to exploit a computer virus to retrieve the firefighters’ names and passwords from their work computer, according to the report.

The thief was able to use that data to gain access to the city’s employee system to change their bank routing numbers and route the money to Russia.

An FDNY spokeswoman said the victims’ losses have since been reimbursed, according to the report.

Diane Struzzi, a spokeswoman for DOI, said her agency “is investigating this matter.... There is no evidence that any other accounts from city computers have been hijacked.”

The incident follows similar computer thefts in June, when another FDNY firefighter and an EMS employee had money stolen the same way after using their home computers.

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