Newsletters
News & Information for Technology Purchasers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Enterprise I.T. Cloud Computing Applications Hardware More Topics...
Network Security
Tame your scariest paperwork. Find Out How
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached
Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached

By Jennifer LeClaire
April 18, 2014 12:13PM

    Bookmark and Share
The latest from Michaels Stores is that the credit and debit cards of some 2.6 million customers were breached from May 2013 to Jan. 2014. That news indicates that when it comes to protecting sensitive information from hackers, smaller firms like Michaels Stores just can't keep up in the cyber arms race, said security expert Jeff Davis.
 



Michaels Stores is offering new insight into a headline-making data breach that was first announced in the shadows of the massive Target leak. While the Target leak left 70 million consumers exposed to cybercriminals, as many as 3 million customer credit and debit cards were breached in the Michaels event.

That news begs the question: If large retailers like Target can’t prevent data breaches, do smaller retailers like Michaels stand a chance?

Michaels first reported the data security issue in January after learning about possible fraudulent activity on some U.S. credit and debit cards used at its stores.

Between then and now, Michaels hired two independent security firms to undertake an investigation. The nationwide arts and crafts chain said it has also been working with law enforcement officials, as well as coordinating with banks and payment processors, to solve the puzzle. The company also apologized -- again.

“Our customers are always our number one priority and we are truly sorry for any inconvenience or concern Michaels may have caused,” said Chuck Rubin, CEO of Michaels. “We are committed to assisting affected customers by providing fraud assistance, identity protection and credit monitoring services. Importantly, with this incident now fully contained, we can assure customers this malware no longer presents a threat to shoppers at Michaels or Aaron Brothers.”

Bad News, Good News

With that said, here’s what the investigation uncovered: Criminals did indeed attack systems of Michaels and its subsidiary, Aaron Brothers, using sophisticated malware. Neither security firm had run into the malware before. That’s the bad news. The good news is the incident has been contained and the conclusions are shedding light on how to help prevent these attacks in the future.

For example, we now know that the affected systems held debit and credit card information, such as numbers and expiration dates. However, there is no evidence that other customer personal information, such as names, addresses or PINs, was stolen.

The attack on Michaels targeted a small number of point-of-sale systems at stores between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014. Only a small percentage of payment cards used at those stores during that period was impacted. Specifically, approximately 2.6 million cards -- about 7 percent of cards used in the store in that time frame -- may have been exposed. Another 400,000 cards were potentially impacted at 54 Aaron Brothers stores between June 26, 2013 and February 27, 2014.

Can Smaller Companies Keep Up?

We turned to Jeff Davis, vice president of engineering at Web information security solutions firm Quarri Technologies, to get his take on the latest Michaels revelations. He told us, although it sounds cliché, organizations that handle sensitive data almost can't be too careful these days.

“The battle between IT staffs and attackers is dauntingly asymmetric -- one successful breach can cause serious and lasting damage, even if the exploited organization successfully fended off thousands of attacks before [the successful one],” Davis said.

The fact of the matter, he noted, is attackers can fail 99 percent of the time and still make a profit. That leads him to the simple conclusion that security is “hard.”

“Even big financials get compromised every now and then, and no companies are spending more on security than they are,” Davis said. “It's frankly difficult to imagine how smaller companies can keep up in the cyber arms race. Clearly security needs to be a top priority with a commensurate budget.”
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

SecurityByDesign:

Posted: 2014-04-19 @ 2:52pm PT
The inherent problem is in the credit cards. Security should be implemented at the few credit card networks, not at the gazillions of retailers small and large. Credit card networks should prevent retailers from storing anything related to the payment transaction, by contract. Payment should be a one-off token that leaves no trace on the retailer's system.





 Network Security
1.   Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
2.   Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
3.   Dropbox for Business Boosts Security
4.   Hackers Breached StubHub Accounts
5.   Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware


advertisement
Tor Working To Fix Security Exploit
Bug reportedly reveals ID of users
Average Rating:
New Technology Defeats Privacy Efforts
Study identifies 3 browser techniques.
Average Rating:
Banks Hit by Android-Skirting Malware
34 institutions, four European countries
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
Researchers Working To Fix Tor Security Exploit
Developers for the Tor privacy browser are scrambling to fix a bug revealed Monday that researchers say could allow hackers, or government surveillance agencies, to track users online.
 
Wall Street Journal Hacked Again
Hacked again. That’s the story at the Wall Street Journal this week as the newspaper reports that the computer systems housing some of its news graphics were breached. Customers not affected -- yet.
 
Dropbox for Business Beefs Up Security
Dropbox is upping its game for business users. The cloud-based storage and sharing company has rolled out new security, search and other features to boost its appeal for businesses.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Watson Gets His First Customer Service Gig
Since appearing on Jeopardy, IBM's Watson supercomputer has been making a living using his super-intelligent knowledge base for business verticals. Now, Watson's been hired for his first customer service job.
 
Tablet Giants Apple and Samsung Feel the Heat
When a company saturates its home market with a once-hot product, expect it to pump up efforts elsewhere. Apple, for its part, is now pushing iPads to big corporations and the enterprise market.
 
Microsoft Makes Design Central to Its Future
Over the last four years, Microsoft has doubled the number of designers it employs, putting a priority on fashioning devices that work around people's lives -- and that are attractive and cool.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
T-Mobile Calls 'BS' on AT&T's New Promotion
While Verizon Wireless is moving to throttle bandwidth hogs, a scrappy T-Mobile is taking on the giants with a limited-time promotion it hopes will drive up the churn rates of its wireless rivals.
 
Microsoft Update to Windows Phone 8.1 Already Coming
An update to Windows Phone 8.1 is on the way just weeks after the release of the product itself. Microsoft has begun detailing some of the update features to phone manufacturers.
 
Stanford Researchers Report Battery Breakthrough
Stanford researchers have found a way to use lithium in a battery's anode, a breakthrough that could triple capacity and has been described as the "holy grail of battery science."
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Network
Home/Top News | Enterprise I.T. | Cloud Computing | Applications | Hardware | Mobile Tech | Big Data | Communications
World Wide Web | Network Security | Data Storage | CRM Systems | Microsoft/Windows | Apple/Mac | Linux/Open Source | Personal Tech
Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.