The Greater Owensboro Economic Development Corporation lost more than $500,000 last year as a result of a cyberattack that police said appears to have been an email phishing scam. A GOEDC official said approximately 10% of the funds have been recovered.
GOEDC Board Chair Amy Jackson said via email on Wednesday that on December 6, 2022, the organization “discovered through bank account reconciliation practices that it had been the victim of a cybercrime.”
She said that in total $548,110 was stolen, and of that $51,220 has been recovered to date.
Jackson said upon discovery, GOEDC immediately filed a report with the Owensboro Police Department and filed claims with the bank to attempt recovery.
“Through the investigation, it was determined that there was no internal fraud, and that through a phishing scheme, access to bank funds was obtained,” Jackson said.
OPD Public Information Officer Dylan Evans said via text Wednesday that it appeared GOEDC’s “system was hacked through a phishing scam through an employee email.”
Evans said OPD is unable to determine the source of the hack, “but the assumption is that it originated overseas.”
Asked if the investigation is ongoing, Evans said OPD has exhausted all leads.
Jackson said that “immediately upon discovery,” the access issue was isolated and new controls were put in place to prevent further access or losses.
“Those controls include stronger internal network protection, as well as stronger bank access controls. Unfortunately, like many other businesses and consumers, we were the victim of cybercrime,” she said.
Asked if GOEDC’s business was affected in any way, Jackson said “we are in a financial position as an organization that has allowed us to continue operations and the mission of the organization. Our board and investors are fully aware and remain committed to the organization’s mission and ability to facilitate economic growth for the Greater Owensboro region.”
If you think you or your business has been the victim of a cyber crime, you can make a report to the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3) at ic3.gov/Home/ComplaintChoice.