Data breach at Northshore Utility District vendor

Saturday, March 6, 2021

Northshore Utility District (NUD) was notified on February 9, 2021) of a cyber security incident involving its payment processing vendor, Automatic Funds Transfer Services, Inc. (AFTS). 

The AFTS servers were illegally accessed by an encrypted ransomware attack, occurring between February 3, 2021 and February 4, 2021. AFTS maintains customer data as part of its payment processing services. 

As an immediate response to this issue, District staff will be receiving and processing all utility payments made by check. This will remain in place until further notice.

NUD customers who pay their bill via automatic fund transfer, credit card, or in person, may have potential limited exposure related to following information: NUD customer account numbers, customer names, addresses, and the balance due on the account. 

Please note that customer credit card information is not shared with AFTS.

Customers who pay their bill via check, routed to AFTS, may have potential additional exposure related to scanned check images residing on the AFTS network servers, which include bank account and routing information. 

It is unknown at this time if any of these scanned records were accessed. However, customers are encouraged to monitor their accounts for suspicious activity and immediately report such activity to their bank. 

AFTS has reported this incident to local law enforcement and to the FBI for investigation. Northshore Utility District will continue to work with AFTS to determine the full extent of this incident and will provide updated information as soon as it becomes available.

NUD serves parts of Lake Forest Park and Kenmore.


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