CardSystems Solutions hands over 40M credit cards to hackers

13.9M MasterCards

 
Yesterday, MasterCard announced the theft of 40 mln credit cards. Among the 40 mln, 13.9 million are MasterCard-branded cards, and the rest are Visa, Discover and American Express.

However, MasterCard is not the one to be blamed for this "catastrophic" breach. The guilty party is Tucson based CardSystems Solutions, a company specialized in processing banking transactions, which failed to secure its network. You would think that when you deal with critical data you should be extra protective with your network. Not these guys, they had their own agenda.

At least the companies are "generous", MasterCard, Visa and Discover representatives stating that credit card holders would not be liable for any fraudulent transactions, should they occur. They have also reassured holders that although the cards themselves have been compromised, the birth date, social security numbers and other similar data have not been stolen. Wow, what a relief, I don't care about the money as long as those pesky hackers don't get their cyber hands on my birth date.

Experts say that this is the worst case of data theft in IT history. "In sheer numbers, this is probably one of the largest data security breaches," said James Van Dyke, principal analyst at Javelin Strategy & Research in Pleasanton, Calif.

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By    18 Jun 2005, 20:03 GMT