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US card processor security breach may have compromised millions of debit, credit cards

Washington , Sat, 31 Mar 2012 ANI

Washington, Mar 31 (ANI): Two US financial services corporations are trying to determine the extent of a possible security breach at an Atlanta-based payment processor, which according to experts could have compromised the credit-card and debit-card information of millions of Americans.

Visa and MasterCard are determining the extent of a cyber intrusion at Global Payments, the firm that describes itself as "one of the world's largest electronic transaction processing companies."

The two companies said they have notified law enforcement officials and alerted banks about the potential data theft, even as they seek to assure customers that their own systems had not been breached.

Both companies also emphasize that customers are not held responsible for any fraudulent purchases made on their cards, The Washington Post reports.

In a statement on Friday, Global Payments said it had determined in early March that "card data may have been accessed."

It said that company officials immediately contacted federal law enforcement, brought in information technology forensics experts to investigate and notified "appropriate industry parties to allow them to minimize potential cardholder impact."

According to the paper, both MasterCard and Visa on Friday were quick to assure customers that their own systems remained safe and that they had alerted banks to any potential problems.

Meanwhile, Brian Krebs, a computer security expert, who first reported the theft on his blog, wrote that sources in the financial sector had described the data theft to him as "massive".

Krebs said that sources believed it could involve over ten million compromised card numbers. (ANI)

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