Hackers scam €17,400 from Donegal

Gardaí are investigating the hacking of an email account belonging to the Donegal County Board treasurer that saw €17,400 transferred to a bank account in England that has since disappeared.

Detailed instructions were placed on an email from the account of the Donegal treasurer to a member of the county board’s administration team to forward £15,000 (€17,400) to an English bank account on Thursday, August 1.

The incident, which seemed suspicious to county board officials, was reported to GAA chiefs in Croke Park within hours of the transfer being made. The bank used by the county board could ascertain the sum of money was in an account set-up in Reading.

However, the Donegal County Board, although aware the cash was still in the account at that particular time, were powerless to prevent its withdrawal.

“Gardaí in Letterkenny are investigating a complaint made regarding an incident that is alleged to have happened between the first and second August, 2013,” the Garda press office confirmed in a statement to the Donegal Democrat yesterday.

Due to operational reasons, the statement added, Gardaí were “not in a position to discuss the incident any further”.

IT chiefs at Croke Park have been working on the case since it was reported to them, while Thames Valley Police in the United Kingdom are also looking into the matter.

The Donegal County Board have been monitoring the situation themselves and now believe three IP (Internet Protocol) addresses used by the hackers to be in the USA and Africa.

Officials from the Donegal County Board, who continue to make their own enquiries, did not want to comment on the matter this week but did confirm the incident took place.

GAA insurance does not cover such acts so the tune of the Donegal County Board’s loss is expected to be €17,400, as well as the legal costs involved in the investigation.


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