Frequently Asked Questions - AFTS Data Issue
What does AFTS do?
AFTS is located in Seattle, WA and was a utility billing service provider to Kirkland for many years. They printed and mailed Kirkland’s utility bills, as well as received and processed the checks that Kirkland Utility customers send in the mail.
What information about me is at risk?
AFTS confirmed that the City of Kirkland data was not among the data exfiltrated by the ransomware threat actor. The City of Kirkland has received an executive summary of the forensic investigation that AFTS’s outside cybersecurity vendor conducted in response to the ransomware incident they experienced on February 4, 2021. Based on the contents of that executive summary and based on separate representations made to the City of Kirkland by AFTS, we are pleased to report that the City of Kirkland data AFTS had in its possession during the ransomware attack was not impacted by the incident.
AFTS undertook a comprehensive and time-intensive review of all files that could have been impacted to determine whether personal information was present in the files. AFTS determined, as a result of its investigation, that information potentially accessed by the threat actor only contained personal information from a small portion of customers and did not include the following information: social security numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, state ID numbers, credit card numbers, mailing addresses, check images, signatures, or authentication files from any of AFTS’ statement printing, check processing, or Lockbox customers. Also, there is currently no evidence of the misuse of any information potentially involved in this incident.
What is ransomware?
Ransomware is a type of malicious software (malware). Ransomware incidents typically involve an unauthorized actor gaining access to an entity’s network and deploying malware that encrypts the entity’s files, making them inaccessible. The unauthorized actor then commonly demands a ransom payment in exchange for the key to decrypt the entity’s files.
What actions has the City of Kirkland taken since this incident?
City of Kirkland utility billing is now processed through different vendors so utility bills have a new design. Information about the new design can be found on the new utility bill example page. If you haven't received your bill yet, you should be receiving it soon. Please call or e-mail us if you have any questions about your account.
At this time, mailed checks now go directly to Kirkland City Hall (123 5th Ave, Kirkland, WA 98033). Other options include depositing your check in person at the drop box in front of Kirkland City Hall, signing up for direct debit, or paying your current utility bill using Kirkland’s online payment system: www.kirklandwa.gov/paymentus. Existing online payment customers should continue to use the online payment system. See more information on the Pay a Utility Bill page.
Will I get charged a late fee?
No, Kirkland has suspended all utility related late fees in response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
How can I get more information?
Please use the following email for inquires relating to utility billing concerns stemming from the AFTS incident firstname.lastname@example.org. Customers can also call the Utility Department at 425-587-3150
City of Kirkland News release: City of Kirkland Aware of AFTS, Inc. Potential Data Security Issue