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Patelco faces two class action lawsuits over ransomware outage

Patelco faces two class action lawsuits over ransomware outage

DUBLIN, CALIFORNIA — Patelco members have reportedly filed two separate class action lawsuits against the credit union, claiming it failed to take necessary precautions to protect against hackers.

A lawsuit filed by Oakland-based Cole & Van Note accuses Patelco of leaking members’ private information by “intentionally, willfully, recklessly and/or negligently” failing to take necessary security precautions. The lawsuit also accuses Patelco of failing to notify customers in a timely manner and failing to be transparent in its communications.

“The representative plaintiff and the members of the class action lawsuit remain in the dark as to what specific data was stolen, what specific malware was used, and what steps, if any, will be taken to protect their private information in the future,” says the lawsuit, which, in addition to damages, also requires the repeal of an improved security system.

Another lawsuit filed by San Diego law firm Wolf Haldenstein Adler Freeman & Herz also accused the credit union of negligence and a lack of transparency and pointed to the costs and inconveniences caused by the default.

As of June 29, the credit union’s roughly 450,000 members can no longer conduct electronic transactions, receive direct deposits or pay bills online. Instead, customers must drive to credit union locations or approved ATMs and wait in long lines. In addition, members have daily withdrawal limits, including $2,500 for signature debit transactions and $500 for PIN debit transactions or ATM withdrawals, according to KTVU. For customers with high bills, that’s not nearly enough.

On Sunday, Patelco CEO Erin Mendez said the system had “stabilized” and there was “light at the end of the tunnel.” As of Tuesday, some new transactions are now possible, including direct deposits, check and cash deposits, checks written to Patelco accounts, and PayPal and Venmo transactions linked to accounts, according to a CBS report.

Patelco had not responded to the lawsuits as of Wednesday, but said an end was in sight. On Tuesday, Patelco CEO Erin Mendez said the company was seeing “positive momentum on a daily basis” and expected to be “fully recovered by the end of the week.”