Yesterday, Heartland Payment Systems released a statement saying their processing system was hacked with malicious software sometime during 2008 that compromised the data that went through their network.
"No merchant data or cardholder Social Security numbers, unencrypted personal identification numbers (PIN), addresses or telephone numbers were involved in the breach. Nor were any of Heartland's check management systems; Canadian, payroll, campus solutions or micropayments operations; Give Something Back Network; or the recently acquired Network Services and Chockstone processing platforms."
However, even with that statement, consumers can't feel secure.
Although social security numbers, PIN numbers, addresses and telephone numbers were not compromised in the breach, names, credit card numbers and expiration dates were.
It ticks me off that on the website Heartland set up to to so-call "inform" the public about this breach, www.2008breach.com, they don't provide very much information.
They detail what information was not compromised, but fail to explicitly state what information was compromised, just who exactly is affected by this, and how they were affected in the first place.
That's why I'm glad I found the Washington Post article by Brian Kreb, which gets more down to the nitty gritty of what happened with this breach, and exposes the hardcore fact that tens of millions of credit and debit card transactions could've been compromised, which would make this data breach one of the largest ever reported.
To me, Heartland comes across as so lame by holding back a lot of pertinent details regarding this data breach.
They do, however, apologize for any inconvenience this situation has caused, advise cardholders to examine their monthly statements closely and report any suspicious activity to their card issuers, and remind cardholders that they're not responsible for unauthorized fraudulent charges made by third parties.
It's just so scary to think that millions of consumers' sensitive credit card information could be out there floating around in the hands of crooked cyber criminals, and those consumers haven't even been informed they've been compromised.
The company tagline of Heartland Payment Systems is "The Highest Standards. The Most Trusted Transactions." Yeah, right!
This data breach gives even more reason to make sure you stay on top of thoroughly reviewing your credit card and bank statements frequently!
Be sure to read the full article by Brian Kreb over at the Washington Post.