'Massive' Credit Card Data Breach Involves All Major Brands

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Visa MastercardNEW YORK (CNNMoney) -- A data breach at a payments processing firm has potentially compromised credit and debit card information from all of the major card brands.

Global Payments (GPN), a company that processes card transactions, confirmed late Friday that "card data may have been accessed." It says it discovered the intrusion in early March and "promptly" notified others in the industry.

Global Payments did not say how many accounts were affected, or what kind of information was compromised. A law enforcement investigation is ongoing.

A Wall Street Journal report from earlier Friday saying that Global Payments had been hacked sent the company's shares down 9% before trading was halted. The stock did not resume trading before the market closed on Friday.

Global Payments did not say which card companies were affected, but Visa (V) released a statement saying that it was all of the big players.

"Visa Inc. is aware of a potential data compromise incident at a third party entity affecting card account information from all major card brands," it said.

When a customer swipes a credit card, the data is sent to a payment processor like Global Payments, which then forwards the transaction information to card companies like Visa and MasterCard (MA).

That's a massive business: Global Payments processed $167.3 billion worth of transactions in its last fiscal year, which ended May 31, 2011. Global Payments specializing in serving small merchants, like mom-and-pop businesses and local retailers.

It emphasized that none of them were to blame for the data leak.

"It is crucial to understand that this incident does not involve our merchants or their relationships with their customers," Global Payments said.

It plans to hold a conference call Monday morning to provide more details on the debacle.

Read more at CNNMoney

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dolfanman93

Why not blame " Obama" for this too? But if you want to tax a purchase 1% more at Gucci, Coach, Rolex , have at it. Only the 1% types who are getting the big tax cuts can afford those brands anyway.

March 31 2012 at 5:11 PM Report abuse -3 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to dolfanman93's comment
bggdg

The dumbest 1%ers never buy anythimg at Gucci, Coach, Rolex etc,.

But who really cares about how one spends the fruits of their own labor? After all, the Bush tax cuts favored lower income earners. What kind of dunce imagines that citizens should allocate less of their own resources so that mouth-breathing government goons can allocate more?

March 31 2012 at 9:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
janichka

if any money is taken from anyones account from it i would seriously hope that this company would reimburse all loses. after all it was no fault of the customers, and the credit card processing company should have imposed stricter internet security. heres an idea guys, stop watching porn in the same network system that the processing servers are held, just a thought.

March 31 2012 at 3:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
CHAR

I have a Master Card and Discover Card and charge as much as I can on them...usually the Master Card. I pay them off monthly when the statement comes. I never just pay the monthly payment and incur an interest charge. So in doing it this way I usually receive $300-400 dollars when I cash in my points/miles each year.

I'm sure someone will tell me how wrong I am. I'm laughing all the way to my credit union with my extra cash.

For many folks who don't have the mind set and cash on hand to pay off their monthly balance...they shouldn't even try this.

Let's educate ourselves and read the fine print. Watch each other's backs and speak out when credit card companys try to gain the upper hand.

March 31 2012 at 2:41 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to CHAR's comment
bggdg

Char, essentially what consumers like you and I are doing is to allow all these "I only use cash" consumers to subsidize purchases of those of us who use our credit cards for everything, and receive a rebate on the amount of our purchases. Of course, the same opportunity to become subsidized instead of doing the subsidizing is availble to all, so you can't really blame those of us who are simply smart enough to take advantage of this opportunity.

March 31 2012 at 5:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jbjg24m

if they gain access to my cc account, boy are they in for a surprize, all of mine are over the damn limit and have been since cancelled !

March 31 2012 at 2:25 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to jbjg24m's comment
bggdg

Boy, you showed 'em, huh?

March 31 2012 at 3:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
amvf14

This is just the beginning, some people are so obssesed with cards and online, that if there were a massive shut down, they would not even have a dollar for gas, food etc

March 31 2012 at 2:07 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
pja99

If this happened in "early" March, why are we just now hearing about it?

March 31 2012 at 1:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to pja99's comment
cliffy934

The article said the card data "may" have been accessed. Sounds like they are not even sure.

March 31 2012 at 3:39 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to cliffy934's comment
bggdg

Keep in mind companies like this have multiple layers of defense. So, for example, it is perfectly possible that the processing company has discovered evidence that their network was breached, but has not been able to find any evidence of a breach of the database containing the sensitive information.

So its quite possible they are unsure.

March 31 2012 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down
pruettee

Again you know why I seldom use a credit card for anything. Cash on the line. I see so many who have nothing but a credit card. They cannot even buy a coke out of the machines unless they can use a card. Now if Obama wants to tax something, how about a 1% tax on each credit card use. I have had one occassion where I could not make a purchase because all I had was cash and my checkbook. I did not buy the product(s) and I have not been back to that store. They tried to not have cash on hand. More progress BS.

March 31 2012 at 1:55 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to pruettee's comment
Robin

The system isn't working. --at all.

March 31 2012 at 1:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
firstad

This is just one more in a long line of breaches, hacks, outright theft, and selling of what is supposed to be safe and private. I have made up a list of things not to do in response. Never get or use a debit card. Always go to a bank teller and never use ATM's. Don't buy or pay for anything with a credit card online...ever. Do not use public wifi in airports or coffee stores, and don't use bluetooth in your cars. None of these electronic standards of the industry are safe, secure, or able to offer you a better way to communicate. Time to go back to the way we did things before the system was opened and let the thieves into our lives.

March 31 2012 at 1:16 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
RJ

Yesterday one of the online coin and bullion dealers I've made purchases from notified me of the same situation, but they stated only name, address and purchase history was hacked and no card info was stolen. That's no consolation because now some rat bast*rd knows what I've purchased and where I live. I keep one CC for a unexpected emergency but haven't needed to use it for almost 20 years. I use a debit card so if there's not enough money in the account to cover the sale, that purchase can't be made and helps me with living within my means. In the past few years I've had 4 unauthorized charges placed on my account. BoA notifies me by email and text message alerts
within a few minutes of any sale made without my Pin or signature and has removed the bogus charges when challenged.
I think merchants and processing companies should only be allowed to retain credit card information long enough to insure payment. The Idea of my personal banking information being stored in numerous data bases all over the globe is very troubling to me. I'm really starting to dislike the internet for paying for products and services. Even the most secure systems are being hacked/compromised way too often.

March 31 2012 at 1:05 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RJ's comment
bggdg

When you say "even the most secure systems are being hacked/compromised", you are correct.

However, this is and has always been true of anything you choose to secure, not just credit card info, and not just over the internet. For example, you may purchase a home security system, and use several locks on each of your doors. But still, when you go on vacation, there is no ASSURANCE your home won't be burglarized.

The same is true with your financial resources. Before the internet, theft was even more rampant than it is today. Think back before the days of these data networks. You go buy dinner at a local restuarant with your credit card. Since the merchant has no internet connection, they don't even know if your account is valid. And whether it is valid or not, they take a physical imprint of the card, retaining a copy for their own records from which any employee can copy your data.

The thing you have to understand is that bad actors have incentives to successfully breach defenses. This could be in the physical world, such as a home break-in, or in the digital world. Putting up defenses reduces your chances of being victimized, but no defense is fool-proof.

March 31 2012 at 2:09 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply