Nishna Valley Family YMCA in Atlantic confirms it was hit in cyber attack


December 7th, 2011 by Ric Hanson

Last week we told you about a cyber attack targeting local businesses and in some cases individuals who conduct a substantial amount of Automated Clearing House, or ACH, transactions from their computers. ACH is an electronic network for financial transactions, that processes large volumes of both credit and debit transactions which are originated in batches. Atlantic Police Chief Steve Green said at the time, that there was one confirmed victim of the attacks, and another suspected of being attacked.

Today, the Nishna Valley Family YMCA in Atlantic is set to announce its computer systems have been breached by a cyber virus aimed at the organization’s financial information. We contacted YMCA Executive Director Dan Haynes last week who confirmed the Y’s computers had been hit by a key-logging virus, but he would not disclose the amount of money they lost as a result of the breach. That is expected to become clearer today, during a press conference slated for 10-a.m.

In a letter sent to YMCA members, Haynes and the YMCA Board said authorities are continuing to investigate the financial breach of information, which has affected the Y’s General Fund. At this point, investigators with the FBI, Iowa DCI and Atlantic Police do not believe the virus sought to obtain members’ banking information, but it is possible that the information was compromised. Any person or business who has made automatic payments to the Y, according to the letter, needs to take necessary precautions.

That would include closely monitoring your bank account and notifying your financial institution, local law enforcement and the Iowa Attorney General’s Office, if you see any unauthorized activity.  Experts also recommend you contact the three U.S. credit reporting agencies (Equifax, Experian or Trans Union), to find  out if there have been changes to your credit report.

Their contact information is as follows:

Equifax, 1-800-685-1111 or       Experian, 1-888-397-3742 or

and, TransUnion, LLC, 1-800-888-4213 or

In addition, you may be eligible for a free credit report by calling 1-877-322-8228 or by accessing

Authorities say they believe the cyber thieves were only interested in company ACH information, which is the reason the Nishna Valley YMCA notified its members by mail, that if they have conducted ACH transactions with the YMCA, such as automatic payment processing through monthly drafts…the bank routing number on that account and the name on the account could potentially have been compromised.

It won’t be know how long the attack affected the YMCA’s computers for several months, while the investigation is underway, or what data was compromised. The Y does have a security system in place to protect personal information, but as Police Chief Green said last week, the virus is virtually undetectable even with the best anti-virus software and firewalls. If you have any questions about the ACH cyber attack on the YMCA’s computers, call Dan Haynes at 712-243-3934.