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VISA, MasterCard Reporting a "Massive" Breach

By - Source: Krabs on Security | B 53 comments

A third-party credit card payment processor has been hacked, and 10 million numbers may have been compromised.

VISA and MasterCard are now publicly warning banks nationwide that hackers have broken into a U.S.-based third-party credit card payment processor. This is bad news, as sources within the financial sector are calling it "massive," involving more than 10 million compromised card numbers. Neither credit institutions have said which processor has been breached.

The news arrives after a separate non-public warning was issued last week by VISA and MasterCard. At the time, they said specific cards may have been compromised, and that a processor was compromised sometime between January 21 and February 15. Track 1 and Track 2 data were taken, meaning the information could be used to create fake credit cards.

"The network intrusion may have put accounts at risk of being stolen," VISA said in last week's warning. "The investigation is still in the early stages and if additional accounts are determined to be at risk, [additional alerts will be distributed]." The notice added that a forensic company was working with the processor company in question, and that the U.S. Secret Service is also investigating the breach.

Brian Krebs of KrebsonSecurity reports that affected banks are now starting to analyze transactions made on suspected cards, looking for a common point of purchase. Two different financial institutions have already discovered one common factor: they were used in parking garages in and around the New York City area. But that might be mere coincidence.

"On Wednesday, PSCU — a provider of online financial services to credit unions — said it alerted 482 credit unions that appear to have had cards impacted by the breach, and that a total of 56,455 member VISA and MasterCard accounts were compromised," Krebs reports. "PSCU said fraudulent activity had been detected on a relatively small number of those cards — 876 accounts — and that the activity was geographically dispersed."

"To date, the common point of compromise has not been identified," PSCU's notice to the credit unions stated.

MasterCard told The Wall Street Journal that its own systems have not been compromised. However it did not say how many customers will be affected by the breach, or what banks are currently being notified. VISA has not provided an official statement as of this article.

Cardholders concerned about their accounts should contact the banks that issued their cards. If anyone has additional information in regards to the breach, please send a feedback email.

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Top Comments
  • 24 Hide
    Darkerson , March 30, 2012 7:11 PM
    Sigh. Well this sucks ass.
  • 21 Hide
    srhelicity , March 30, 2012 7:29 PM
    Quote:
    yay let's revert to the good ol' days when people used something called personal 'cheques' to purchase goods. do people still use checks at supermarket? not likely..


    Nothing like sitting in long check-out line, watching my ice cream melt as an old lady takes her sweet old time writing out a check. That's almost like waiting for someone to dig through a 5-gallon-sized purse to find some change because he/she doesn't want to break a $20. I hated those days.
  • 16 Hide
    Solandri , March 30, 2012 7:50 PM
    PlasmidI live in U.S , California and I don't use credit cards too. I don't like being raped by 35% interest on everything I purchase. If I can't afford it I don't buy it and If don't have the money I save money.

    About a quarter of credit card users never carry a balance. They pay their bills off in full every month, and so never pay any interest. Anything they charge on their card is bought with a free 0-45 day loan. I don't even bother checking the APR when signing up for a credit card because except for a few times where I paid late or the check got lost in the mail, I've never carried a balance in over 2 decades.

    Credit cards offer some really good shopping protections compared to paying with cash or check. Many of them also give rewards. If you're good enough at managing your money that you always have enough to pay for what you buy, it would serve you well to look into getting a good credit card or two.
Other Comments
    Display all 53 comments.
  • 24 Hide
    Darkerson , March 30, 2012 7:11 PM
    Sigh. Well this sucks ass.
  • 11 Hide
    thrillhaus , March 30, 2012 7:17 PM
    WSJ reports it was a breach at Global Payments

    Source: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702303816504577313411294908868.html
  • 9 Hide
    upgrade_1977 , March 30, 2012 7:20 PM
    Great... Gonna call my bank..
  • 12 Hide
    rex86 , March 30, 2012 7:23 PM
    northwesternJust another reason why I don't use credit cards.


    where do you live? Somewhere in Siberia where no one lives?
  • 4 Hide
    aoneone , March 30, 2012 7:27 PM
    yay let's revert to the good ol' days when people used something called personal 'cheques' to purchase goods. do people still use checks at supermarket? not likely..
  • 21 Hide
    srhelicity , March 30, 2012 7:29 PM
    Quote:
    yay let's revert to the good ol' days when people used something called personal 'cheques' to purchase goods. do people still use checks at supermarket? not likely..


    Nothing like sitting in long check-out line, watching my ice cream melt as an old lady takes her sweet old time writing out a check. That's almost like waiting for someone to dig through a 5-gallon-sized purse to find some change because he/she doesn't want to break a $20. I hated those days.
  • 9 Hide
    Plasmid , March 30, 2012 7:30 PM
    rex86where do you live? Somewhere in Siberia where no one lives?


    I live in U.S , California and I don't use credit cards too. I don't like being raped by 35% interest on everything I purchase. If I can't afford it I don't buy it and If don't have the money I save money.
  • 0 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , March 30, 2012 7:30 PM
    aoneoneyay let's revert to the good ol' days when people used something called personal 'cheques' to purchase goods. do people still use checks at supermarket? not likely..

    I do.

    If I can create a paper trail for it, I will. Surprises most when I tell them this because I am a technology guru. And granted the vast majority of the checks I write these days are electronically converted, but I still feel like that if there is a paper trail I can prove that I did what I did.
  • 0 Hide
    Ragnar-Kon , March 30, 2012 7:32 PM
    That said I do have three credit cards, the highest one has a 9.99% APR.

    Unfortunately, 2 of them are Visas with the 3rd being a MasterCard, so I will be keeping on eye on my statements.
  • 1 Hide
    Murissokah , March 30, 2012 7:35 PM
    It's such a great strategy to announce that someone stated that a security breach may have compromised the credit cards of 10 milion people, on certain banks, or a certain payment processor. Now we are all worried and have no idea who was affected.
  • -5 Hide
    brutaltruthisbrutal , March 30, 2012 7:37 PM
    Why hate these thieves for stealing card info? Maybe they are poor and need it... kind of like the protestors in the 99% movement. Why should anyone have to earn anything for themselves anymore with our culture of handouts and welfare? Because these guys took money directly instead of thru the government reach doesn't make them any worse imho. Cheers to them for cutting out the middle man.
  • 13 Hide
    wemakeourfuture , March 30, 2012 7:48 PM
    Ragnar-KonI do.If I can create a paper trail for it, I will. Surprises most when I tell them this because I am a technology guru. And granted the vast majority of the checks I write these days are electronically converted, but I still feel like that if there is a paper trail I can prove that I did what I did.


    I use credit cards, I make money each year by using my credit card, not quite sure how you can't manage your spending and finances that you can't.

    I never pay interest, ever, I pay on time. I have 2% Cashback and make hundreds each year, plus if something happens like I lose my wallet or its stolen, I phone my bank and the card gets cancelled. If it had a tonne of cash say bye bye to it.

    If you don't carry much cash then when you need make purchases there's the inconvenience of wasted time going to the bank to withdraw money.

    Plus, if the credit card company is compromised or banks and there's fraudulent purchases I am not liable they are.
  • 2 Hide
    Kreth , March 30, 2012 7:48 PM
    debit cards are also mastercards and visa you know
  • 1 Hide
    supall , March 30, 2012 7:49 PM
    Wonderful...I am with Navy Federal and no doubt its one of the 482. Hopefully they'll respond quickly to my worries.
  • 16 Hide
    Solandri , March 30, 2012 7:50 PM
    PlasmidI live in U.S , California and I don't use credit cards too. I don't like being raped by 35% interest on everything I purchase. If I can't afford it I don't buy it and If don't have the money I save money.

    About a quarter of credit card users never carry a balance. They pay their bills off in full every month, and so never pay any interest. Anything they charge on their card is bought with a free 0-45 day loan. I don't even bother checking the APR when signing up for a credit card because except for a few times where I paid late or the check got lost in the mail, I've never carried a balance in over 2 decades.

    Credit cards offer some really good shopping protections compared to paying with cash or check. Many of them also give rewards. If you're good enough at managing your money that you always have enough to pay for what you buy, it would serve you well to look into getting a good credit card or two.
  • 6 Hide
    sp0nger , March 30, 2012 7:51 PM
    This is getting out of hand, im torn between shit like this needing to happen in order for banks and government to take my information seriously, and between not wanting to deal with shit
  • -1 Hide
    nao1120 , March 30, 2012 7:52 PM
    Its all insured anyways.... If there is a reported stolen amount you can deal with it. Its annoying, but its not lost cold hard "cash".
  • 7 Hide
    Northwestern , March 30, 2012 7:55 PM
    rex86where do you live? Somewhere in Siberia where no one lives?

    In the US, the same country that buys more than it can afford. I don't want to contribute to that.

    Commence with the thumbs down of my comments.
  • 2 Hide
    house70 , March 30, 2012 7:58 PM
    Inside job until proven otherwise. Someone from that institution received an offer they could not refuse.

    That's why you never hear of any resolution from prior such events; because banks keep it under wraps to avoid appearing like a bunch of cheap idiots who underpay their own IT security personnel. Besides, the ones suffering from ID theft and it's lengthy consequences are the customers, not the banks.
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