A data breach unveiled by Heartland Payment Systems, the 6th largest credit card processor in the US, seems all set to replace TJX Companies’ January 2007 infringement as the world’s largest ever data breach involving payment details of around 100 million cards being stolen.
The credit and debit card processing company notified that some anonymous intruders had infringed its systems last year and placed malicious applications to compromise card information carried on the firm’s network.
Heartland asserted that it was cautioned by MasterCard and Visa about the suspicious activities encompassing card transactions and thereby started investigations, which unfolded the presence of malicious software that have stolen data across the company’s networks.
Robert Baldwin, Heartland’s Chief Financial Officer said in a statement, “We found evidence of an intrusion last week and immediately notified federal law enforcement officials as well as the card brands”.
The notifications from card companies have also prompted subsequent investigations by several forensic agencies during which the offence came into notice.
The company has already taken the essential steps to protect its systems, and even created a website, named www.2008breach.com, for providing the essential information about the breach.
However, the company purported that no crucial information, such as Social Security Numbers (SSNs) of cardholders, unsecured personal identifications numbers (PINs), telephone numbers, or other merchant information have reportedly been compromised.
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A great day to reveal the world's biggest data breach... With more than 100 million card details nicked, no wonder their prices on underground forums will keep on tumbling leaving banks and financial institutions facing another great headache that's not likely to go out soon. The Heartland site is currently down as we are writing this article. It is only the early days and we will report as the case unfolds.
(Wall Street Journal)