City of Kirkland Aware of AFTS, Inc. Data Security Issue

Published on February 08, 2021

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Media Contact:
Joy Johnston
Interim Communications Program Manager
jjohnston@kirklandwa.gov
425-979-6562

UPDATED 2/19/21 7:00 AM

KIRKLAND, Wash. –The City of Kirkland is aware of a security/data incident related to its utility billing vendor, Automatic Funds Transfer Services, Inc (AFTS). The City of Kirkland contracts with AFTS to handle Kirkland resident and commercial utility billing including processing of paper check payments. The AFTS servers were encrypted by ransomware sometime between the evening of February 3 and the morning of February 4, 2021. There is no direct threat to the City of Kirkland’s network as a result of this incident.

The information stored in the AFTS databases is limited to data necessary to fulfill utility billing and payment processing of paper check payments. Electronic payments are processed by a different vendor who is not impacted by the incident.  At this time, we have no knowledge of whether any information belonging to the City’s utility customers has been accessed or misused. AFTS is currently conducting an investigation to determine what information might have been accessed by the ransomware actors, if any, and will inform the City of Kirkland when that information becomes available. We can confirm that AFTS’ database does not contain our utility customers’ social security numbers, dates of birth, driver’s license numbers, state ID numbers, or credit card numbers.

The City of Kirkland takes its role of safeguarding personal information very seriously and has ensured that this issue has been reported to the Kirkland Police Department and the FBI. We continue to discuss additional measures that we as a municipality can adopt to ensure the highest level of security for personal information. For questions, please contact City of Kirkland Utility Billing at 425-587-3150 or aftsquestions@kirklandwa.gov.

See also AFTS Data Issue - Frequently Asked Questions.

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