MasterCard And Visa Warn Banks Of Credit Card Data Breach

Sources say that more than 10 million credit card numbers may be compromised

Banks in the US have received warnings from MasterCard and Visa after a credit card processor was reportedly breached.

More than 10 million credit card numbers are thought to have been exposed according to Brian Krebs, who cites sources in the financial sector.

Fraud threat

The credit card companies sent “non-public alerts” to banks in the US late last week with details about certain cards that might have been compromised. The processor was supposedly breached between 21 January and 25 February with full Track 1 and Track 2 data stolen, meaning that counterfeit cards could possibly be produced.

“MasterCard is currently investigating a potential account data compromise event of a U.S.-based entity and, as a result,  we have alerted payment card issuers regarding certain MasterCard accounts that are potentially at risk,” the company said in a statement.

“Law enforcement has been notified of this matter and the incident is currently the subject of an ongoing forensic review by an independent data security organization.  It is important to note that MasterCard’s own systems have not been compromised in any manner.”

Krebs notes that while neither MasterCard nor Visa has stated which credit card processor had been breached, banks are looking at compromised card transaction data to hopefully determine a common point of purchase.

Two separate sources at major financial institutions have said that most of the dodgy transactions analysed point to usage in parking garages in and around New York City.

PCSU, an online financial services provider, said to Krebs on Wednesday that it had alerted 482 breach-affected credit unions and claimed that 56,455 Visa and MasterCard accounts had been compromised.

However, only a relatively small 876 of the cards has so far been used in unauthorised transactions, and they have all been evenly geographically distributed.

How much do you know about patents? Try our quiz