35,000 Reasons To Avoid Online IOLTA Banking

For all those who ever wondered:  Why do some banks in Oregon block online access to Lawyer Trust Accounts?

From The Florida Bar News:

It was a typical Monday at the office for Kimberly Graus, until she made a chilling discovery. Someone hacked her computer, gained control of her passwords, and emptied $35,000 out of her trust account.

“It is horrible,” said Graus, a sole practitioner in Bradenton who has been working feverishly since the May 10 heist to mitigate the damage.

“These unauthorized wires were sent from my bank account through my bank’s online system, which has three layers of password logins that must be made before a wire can be sent,” Graus said.

“The bank says my IP address was the source of the wire order, but since I did not do it, it is likely that someone hacked my system and stole my passwords as I logged them in.”

It took Graus 10 days to secure loans to cover the trust account thefts. She also quickly notified her clients, creditors, malpractice insurance carrier, title insurance underwriter, and the Bar about the security breach. Graus also hired computer forensic experts to determine what went wrong.

Yet, she still considers herself somewhat fortunate in that she was hacked in the afternoon instead of that morning, when she had successfully wired out more than $400,000 from her trust account to pay off two mortgages for clients.

Read the full post here.

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