Redmond police investigating major data breach

Data security expert says global ties are likely

Redmond police investigate data breach

REDMOND, Ore. - The Redmond Police Department has begun an investigation on Tuesday trying to figure out how a hacker impersonated the Redmond school district superintendent via email and got about a thousand employees' tax information. 

The school district discovered the data breach on Monday and quickly sent a letter to all affected workers, outlining what happened and the steps they should take. 

Police Lt. Curtis Chambers told NewsChannel 21 his department is gathering information and interviewing victims of the hack. 

Chambers said investigators will look at the evidence and will ask for assistance from other law enforcement agencies if the hack took place outside the state. 

Ryan Kalember, senior vice president of cybersecurity strategy for Proofpoint in the Silicon Valley, spoke to NewsChannel 21 via Skype Tuesday afternoon about how common such data breaches are in today's online world. 

Kalember said these types of email scams are not new, and are known as a "business email compromise." He said the main goal for hackers is to use the information for tax fraud or sell it to other hackers in the black market. 

"This happens constantly," Kalember said. "It happens every day, every week. It's affecting mostly consumer brands, but it's also affected smaller organizations, like school districts.".

Kalember said the hackers typically use the W-2 information to file falsified tax returns and and collect the refund money from the IRS. 

Kalember said the cyber groups involved in this type of scam are usually located overseas.

He said if the hack did come from outside the U.S. the FBI could become involved with the investigation. 

If you are a victim, you asked to call the IRS and let them know, and to also put a freeze on your credit cards and check you financial records regularly. 

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