Krebs on Security's Brian Krebs reports that hackers began stealing money from fuel distribution firm J.T. Alexander & Son on May 1, 2013, taking money in small amounts from the company's payroll account at Peoples Bank of North Carolina and sending it to more than 60 money mules.
"The company has just 15 employees that get paid by ACH payroll transactions every two weeks," Krebs writes. "At most, J.T. Alexander’s usual payroll batch is around $30,000. But in just five days, the thieves managed to steal more than a year’s worth of employee salaries."
While a portion of the stolen funds will be covered by insurance, insurer Employers Mutual Casualty Company says the company's coverage won't come anywhere near the total of the loss.
According to Krebs, the fact that the breach wasn't noticed for five full days meant that the losses were far more severe than they might otherwise have been. "These types of cyberheists -- in which neither the victim organization nor its financial institution notice the theft for days on end -- can be especially costly," Krebs writes.
With that in mind, Krebs offers a list of online banking best practices for small businesses here.