Saturday, June 18, 2005

Latest Security Breach Exposes 40 million to Credit Fraud

-parts based on AP News 6/17/05-

It's roughly equivalent to every man, woman, & child
living in the state of California and Nevada combined.

The breach appears to be the largest yet involving
financial data according to the Electronic Privacy
Information Center.

The names, banks and account numbers of up to 40
million credit card holders may have been accessed by
an unauthorized user according to MasterCard
International Inc. Friday.

The credit card giant indicated the security breach
involves a computer virus that captured customer data
for fraud.

This latest breach will affect all major brands of
credit cards and their consumers. The breach was
traced to CardSystems Solutions Inc., which processes
credit card and other payments for banks and
merchants.

The compromised data did not include addresses or
Social Security numbers according to a MasterCard
spokesman. But, the data (names, banks
and account numbers) could be used to steal funds and
not identities.

MasterCard, which said about 14 million of its own
cards were exposed, first announced the breach in a
news release Friday afternoon, saying it was notifying
its card-issuing banks of the problem.

At post time, all the other major credit card issuers
had yet to issue disclosures on the total number of
effected cards holders.

We urge consumers to not wait until their credit
company sends a notification letter or does nothing at
all.

Take action today - get enrolled with automatic credit
monitoring for your own credit protection.

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