AOH :: IS1750.HTM

Heartland Data Breach: 500+ Institutions Affected

Heartland Data Breach: 500+ Institutions Affected
Heartland Data Breach: 500+ Institutions Affected 

By Linda McGlasson
Managing Editor
Bank Infosecurity
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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