100 million credit cards compromised

Yesterday during the biggest day in America's history, Heartland Payment System finally revealed that it's systems were compromised by hackers in late May of 2008. Speculation around the blogosphere is that the company waited until all eyes were on television sets around the world to announce the news. Heartland Payment System is a New Jersey, NY based company that handles an estimated 100 million transactions a month, serving over 250,000 customers.

President and Chief Financial Officer, Robert Baldwin, told the Washington Post that at this point the company has no idea how long the malicious software was in place or how it got there. The data that has been compromised includes names, credit and debit card numbers, and expiration dates. However according to the company no social security numbers, personal identification numbers (PIN), addresses, or telephone numbers have been compromised. This leaves the hackers very limited as to what they can do with the compromised information.

"Identity theft protection is appropriate when there is enough personal information lost that identity theft is possible," Baldwin said. "In this case, the amount of information we know they did not get is long enough that except in very circumscribed cases identity theft is just not possible. At the same time, we recognize and feel badly about the inconvenience this is going to cause consumers."

The company immediately launched 2008breach.com alerting customers of the attack, and has advised that anyone who has used Heartland Payment Systems to immediately look at their monthly credit card statement and immediately report any suspicious activity to their card holders. Analysts around the world are reporting that this could and is the biggest data breach in history, even bigger than the TJX incident.

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17 Comments

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...one thing I must get off my chest: Yesterday was the biggest day in American history? Blasphemy. I think July 4th, 1776 would be a much more important date. Or the day General Cornwallis surrendered, effectively ending the Revolution. Or the beginning & ending dates of the Civil War. Or the day Lincoln passed the Exclamation Proclamation. Or the day of the bombing of Pearl Harbor. Or D-Day. Or the days we dropped The Bombs on Japan, bring an end to World War II. Or the day the Cuban Missile Crisis ended, or the days JFK & Martin Luther King were assassinated. Or September 11, 2001.

There's been many more important dates in the history of this country than Barrack Obama's inauguration, guys.

Grandmasta_J said,
Are you talking about BARACK Obama?

That's the only thing you got out of his post? He also misspelled "Emancipation," but the point is clear: the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama was most definitely not the biggest day in American history.

Qun Mang said,
That's the only thing you got out of his post? He also misspelled "Emancipation," but the point is clear: the inauguration of Barack Hussein Obama was most definitely not the biggest day in American history.

Heh, sorry about that; I usually proofread better. What can I say, it was late and I'd been awake too long. :P

Aww...make the credit card companies happy...buy their monthly protection!

This reminds me of some budding virus protection companies who's programs in fect you with their own virus's...

wasn't there a bunch of people who got charged a small amount (under $1) by an unknown company? could this be related?

$0.25 multiplied by 100 million.. that's a lot of quarters!

With such a low charge amount, it would be under the radar long enough for the culprits to make a hefty withdrawl before the banks take notice. Pretty sneaky!

From their site banner:
"Heartland Payment Systems - The Highest Standards - The Most Trusted Transactions"

lolz

No.

"No merchant of ours represents even [one-tenth of one percent] of our volume, and to put out any name associated with what is obviously an unfortunate incident is not fair," [Robert Baldwin, Heartland's president and chief financial officer] said. "Their customers might end up having their cards used fraudulently, but that fraud might turn out to have come from their store, or it might be from another Heartland store and no one will ever really know."

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