City of Monroe’s utility billing vendor hit with data breach

A third of the city’s residential and commercial customers might have had have banking information exposed.

MONROE — The city of Monroe’s utility billing vendor was electronically breached last week, possibly exposing some customers’ banking information and more, the city announced Monday.

Between Wednesday and Thursday, hackers used ransomware to encrypt servers hosted by Seattle-based Automatic Funds Transfer Services, which processes paper checks for the city’s residential and commercial utility billing. Now, bank account numbers, routing information, names, addresses, billing amounts and utility account numbers of customers who pay by check could be exposed, the city said in a news release.

“It is unknown exactly what has been extracted, if anything,” city spokesperson Rich Huebner said.

Residents or businesses who pay utility bill by mailing a paper check should monitor their bank accounts for unusual activity and report anything suspicious to their bank.

In total, that’s about a third of the city’s customers, finance Director Becky Hasart said. Electronic payments are processed by a different vendor.

The breached server does not contain Social Security numbers, birth dates, driver’s license numbers or any other personal identifiers.

The cities of Kirkland and Redmond were also affected by the breach.

For questions, contact the city of Monroe at utilitybilling@monroewa.gov.

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