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Computer whiz: Next payroll scheme likely being planned

September 13, 2019 06:04 PM

TROY - It's not every day that a business executive the likes of a Michael Mann can attain folklore status that rivals D.B. Cooper.

Adam Dean, a senior computer security specialist at GreyCastle Security in Troy, says he was "a little bit surprised" to hear about what happened at MyPayrollHR, the Clifton Park payroll company that abruptly shut down last week, leaving approximately 250,000 workers across the country in a financial bind.

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Pioneer Bank filed papers with the Federal Security and Exchange Commission earlier this week indicating that they were swindled for roughly $35 million in the MyPayrollHR demise.

Dean says for anyone to be able to hijack a complex banking network and steal a large sum of money through computer hacking and then simply disappear, illustrates an extreme vulnerability in MyPayrollHR's security protocol.

"No human should have intervention between that," Dean asserted. "That would be an automated process and there should be some big, big, big alarms going off if that is changed in the way it was where all this payroll was being diverted to a Pioneer account."

Dean points out if you'd like to know where most hackers acquire the skills necessary to infiltrate computer networks, look no further than American college campuses.

"I took classes at school for penetration testing which is trying to hack into organizations," Dean stated. "If we got free rein, there's be a 100-percent success rate (of hacking into a computer system)."

Dean insists there are plenty of criminals that could get plenty rich if they had the right skill set, and he's certain a lot of them are currently scheming to do what Michael Mann has allegedly done.

"If you want to pull it off well and not get caught, that's a lot of time, months, or years in the planning," Dean estimated. "If it is spur of the moment, it could probably be done."

On Friday night, a massive nationwide FBI manhunt for Michael Mann continued.

Credits

Dan Levy

Copyright 2019 WNYT-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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