The Largest Ever Credit Card Data Breach?

Worrying times ahead?

Largest ever credit card data breach?Heartland Payment Systems, a US credit card payment processor, announced yesterday that their systems had been breached and the event is under investigation by the US Secret Service and Department of Justice. The breach has the potential to affect tens of millions of credit and debit card transactions. In an article to the Washington Post, Robert Baldwin, Heartland’s president and chief financial officer said:

“The transactional data crossing our platform, in terms of magnitude… is about 100 million transactions a month. At this point, though, we don’t know the magnitude of what was grabbed.”

There is some good news though:

No merchant data or cardholder Social Security numbers, unencrypted personal identification numbers (PIN), addresses or telephone numbers were involved in the breach. Nor were any of Heartland’s check management systems; Canadian, payroll, campus solutions or micropayments operations; Give Something Back Network; or the recently acquired Network Services and Chockstone processing platforms.

Heartland have created a website to provide information on the breach, although it currently has only the official press release within it’s content. It would seem that, at the time of writing this article, the website is facing huge demand as trying to connect is currently resulting in timeouts. People are being urged to keep a keen eye on their Credit Card statements, and alert their providers to any suspicious activity immediately.

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