By Linda McGlasson
February 9, 2009
By the latest count, the number of institutions that have informed their
card customers and members that they were hit as a result of the
Heartland Payment Systems (HPY) data breach has swelled to 124.
Heartland, the sixth-largest payments processor in the U.S., announced
on Jan. 20 that its processing systems were breached in 2008, exposing
an undetermined number of consumers to potential fraud. Since then,
scores of banks and credit unions from across North America have stepped
forward to say their customers are among those whose cards were
compromised in the breach. Heartland Payment Systems data breach
While Heartland and the credit card companies remain tight-lipped about
the total number of institutions and card account numbers involved,
Heartland has said that, at the time of the breach, it processed an
average of 100 million transactions per month for more than 250,000
different retailers and merchants.
The Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) conducted an
informal survey of its members after the breach, asking if they had been
contacted by Heartland. The survey elicited 512 responses from member
banks, and 83 percent of them said they had either credit and/or debit
cards affected by the Heartland breach. Only 13 percent of the banks
said they didn't know yet if their customers' card accounts were
compromised in the breach.
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