By Linda McGlasson
February 23, 2009
The number of financial institutions that stepped forward to say their
customers' credit or debit cards were compromised because of the
Heartland Payment Systems (HPY) data breach has now reached more than
Little more than a month ago, on Jan. 20, Heartland, a Princeton,
NJ-based payments processor, went public that it had discovered hackers
had gained access to its computer networks and had been able to see
credit card and debit card numbers as they were processed for several
months in 2008. The nation's sixth largest payments processor, Heartland
said it processed an average of 100 million transactions each month in
2008, and has about 175,000 retail and merchant customers for which it
handles credit and debit transactions across the U.S.
Three customer class action suits have been filed in U.S. Federal Court
in New Jersey against the payments processor by Philadelphia-based law
firms. No class action suit on behalf of institutions affected by the
breach has been filed yet.
Three men were arrested and charged with using "cloned" or counterfeit
cards with stolen credit card numbers from the Heartland breach in
Tallahassee, FL earlier this month, but no further arrests have been
made in the case. The three men arrested in the Florida fraud case were
described as lower-level players, but law enforcement continues to
follow the trail of fraud and credit cards stolen in the Heartland
breach that have been used in Mexico, Texas, Florida and other states.
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