Friday, January 23, 2009

Heartland Payment Systems - Data Breach

This week on Tuesday, the busiest news day here in the United States, an
announcement was made by Heartland Payment Systems that they uncovered
malicious software in their processing system. They ONLY process about 100
million transactions each month so surely this isn't that big of a deal.

It is early on in the investigation, but this data breach may even
de-throne TJX and their 94 million cards compromised back in 2006-2007.
This company serves more than 250,000 businesses ranging from restaurants,
retailers, convenience stores including pay-at-the-pump, to payroll

According to the New York Times, the malicious code was introduced into the Heartland Payment System's infrastructure as early asMay 2008. And Heartland didn't actually take the matter seriously until late Fall of 2008. They were contacted by VISA and MasterCard twice before they took this seriously. Then they chose inauguration day to make its announcement. Precious!

I would suggest to everyone to monitor closely your credit card statements and bank accounts if you like to use your debit card. Report any fraudulent charges immediately to your card issuer. Just a couple of weeks ago, there was a report of small charges, as little as .25 cents run through many credit card accounts. Some theorize someone is trying to find out if illegally obtained credit card numbers will work before making larger charges.

From Heartland's own special website, they are saying that this may be the result of widespread global cyber fraud operation and that the US Secret Service and the US Department of Justice are involved in the investigation.

UPDATE: I do know that banks are currently contacting customers who may have had a credit or debit card compromised in this data breach.

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