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
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached

Michaels Says Nearly 3M Credit, Debit Cards Breached
By Jennifer LeClaire

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

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.



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Network Security
1.   Chinese Hackers Steal Patient Data
2.   FBI Cybersquad To Add Agents
3.   Apple Opens China iCloud Data Center
4.   Supervalu Suffers a Data Breach
5.   Snowden Talks MonsterMind Program


advertisement
FBI Cybersquad To Add Agents
Rewarded for recent security successes.
Average Rating:
Chinese Hackers Steal Patient Data
Info includes Social Security numbers.
Average Rating:
Facebook's Security Chief Questioned
Spotlight shines on security strategy.
Average Rating:


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

Network Security Spotlight
Chinese Hackers Nab Info on Millions of U.S. Patients
A group of Chinese hackers has stolen the personal information, including names and Social Security numbers, of about 4.5 million patients at hospitals operated by Community Health Systems.
 
Premier FBI Cybersquad in U.S. To Add Agents
After helping prosecutors charge Chinese army officials with stealing trade secrets from major companies and by snaring a Russian-led hacking ring, the premier FBI cyber-squad is getting a boost.
 
Apple Opens iCloud Data Center in China
Treading lightly, Apple acknowledged it has started to store encrypted iCloud personal data of some Chinese users on servers in mainland China, operated by the state-owned China Telecom.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Compression, Deduplication Come to Violin Concerto 2200
Violin Memory has announced that data deduplication and compression capabilities are now available on its Concerto 2200 solution. Typically, users will experience deduplication rates between 6:1 and 10:1.
 
Cisco Axes 6,000 Employees in Restructuring Plan
Faced with declining profits, Cisco is laying off up to 6,000 employees in the months ahead -- a whopping 8 percent of its global workforce. That's in addition to the 4,000 jobs Cisco cut last year.
 
Web Slows, Have Internet Routers Reached The Limit?
If you encountered problems connecting to the Internet on August 12, you weren't alone. Networking experts blame the wide-scale slowdown on outdated routing systems that are reaching their limits.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
HTC Debuts Windows Phone Version of One M8 Smartphone
HTC is bringing the Windows Phone mobile OS to its flagship One M8 device -- the first time any mainstream flagship smartphone has been offered with a choice of operating systems.
 
Verizon Earns Top Rating in Mobile Network Comparison
A new report says Verizon Wireless was the top-performing U.S. cellphone service provider in the first half of 2014, on a nationwide and state-by-state basis, as well as in metro areas.
 
Sprint Comes Out with Data Guns Blazing
As its new CEO promised, Sprint has rolled out a new aggressively competitive price plan. The shared data plans promise twice the high-speed data and at lower prices than AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
 

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.