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Staples becomes latest US store hit by credit card data breach

The office supply store Staples has announced that it is investigating a possible breach of payment card data, making it the latest US store to be targeted.

The retailer has notified the relevant authorities, but has not disclosed details of the data breach publicly.

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In a statement issued earlier in the week, company spokesman Mark Cautela confirmed the news.

"Staples is in the process of investigating a potential issue involving credit card data and has contacted law enforcement," he said.

The vulnerability was discovered following a blog post by security reporter Brian Krebs which highlighted a pattern of payment card fraud identified by several banks. It suggested that multiple Staples stores in the north-east of the country had been the victim of a data breach.

"We take the protection of customer information very seriously, and are working to resolve the situation," Cautela told Reuters. "If Staples discovers an issue, it is important to note that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity on their credit cards that is reported on a timely basis."

Other US stores have also been the victims of cyber attacks recently, with customer payment cards stolen from Kmart stores earlier this month. Restaurant chain Dairy Queen also confirmed that card information may have been compromised for its customers across 46 US states.

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With in-store transactions increasingly moving away from cash towards card and electronic payments, they could prove a lucrative breeding ground for digital thieves. Apple Pay, which launched earlier this week, will be hoping that its security systems stand firm against this increased scrutiny.

Image Credit: Mike Mozart