Monday, February 23, 2009

Yet Another Payment Processor Hit With Data Breach

Information at this point is still unclear but all the signs point to yet another data breach at at least one major payment processor. Information began spreading across the web this weekend, first at the blog Office of Inadequate Security and now more details have emerged over at ComputerWorld.

New Norton360.v2Saturday the OIS blog posted details they uncovered from the Community Bankers Association of Illinois. According to the CBAI VISA has announced that an unnamed processor recently reported that it had discovered a data breach. Although the processor’s was being withheld VISA officials did state that the breach affected all card brands. Stating that evidence indicated that the account number, PAN and expiration dates of customers were stolen.

Today ComputerWorld is reporting that both Visa Inc. and MasterCard International Inc. have confirmed the data breach and both companies have begun quietly notifying banks and credit unions of the new breach and providing them with lists of the affected card numbers. According to those notifications no unencrypted PINs, card verification codes or customer Social Security numbers were exposed.

The scope of the new breach doesn't seem to be anywhere near the level of last months Heartland breach. In that case so far about 440 banks and credit unions have reported being affected. Analysts have estimated that the breach at Heartland could be the largest such breach in history.

As with the case of the Heartland breach it is advised that you check your credit reports for any suspicious activity and scan your credit card statements closely. Even if your bank or credit card company isn't one of the ones discovered to be affected you should keep a close eye on your statements as even the smallest of charges could be a sign of suspicious activity.

Credit card thieves often times create a test charge for something small to verify that the card works. They'll start off with a dollar or two, verify the card and if it works then they'll go in for the kill and buy those high ticket items.


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