MasterCard, Visa Hacked: 1.5M Credit Card Numbers Stolen

MasterCard, Visa Hacked: 1.5M Credit Card Numbers Stolen

1.5 Million user’s credit card details are at risk after hackers gained access to data from the world’s largest card payment processor. Global Payments Inc. (NYSE:GPN) released a statement this morning which told of a fatal breach in their security. The company did not indicate the methods used by the hackers to infiltrate its system. The problem affects Visa Inc. (NYSE:V) and Mastercard Inc (NYSE:MA) holders who have had their payments processed by Global Payments Inc.. The information was exposed between Jan. 21st and February 25th according to Visa and Mastercard.

The leak affected up to 1.5 million account holders in North America but did not include the release of personal information about the users just the information on their cards. That information could be used to clone credit cards fraudulently which could be sold or used on the open market. The company warned last Friday that it was vulnerable to such a security breach. The company was subsequently removed by Visa from their list of compliant service providers. The company has said that its analysis shows the problem has been contained. Though users might disagree that the loss of 1.5 million detail sets is containment. Visa’s move last Friday showed that it has no confidence in the company’s ability to keep its data secure. The company’s decision was vindicated by today’s announcement.

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The customers affected by the data breach have begun to be notified notified but it is unclear when they all know their situation. Giving precedent to similar past cases that information should be fully brought to consumers in the next couple of weeks. It is advised that customers be vigilant with any unusual purchases on their credit card bills. Such unknown purchases may be a sign that a card is compromised. The credit card provider should be contacted immediately in this circumstance.

Global Payments Inc. is one of the larger firms in the payment processing industry. Last year the company was responsible for $120.6 billion in transactions. The company is facing a fallout from this case and the concurrent exclusion from Visa’s systems. Their stock was down over 3% at time of writing, just 35 minutes after the open of trade. The company will have to go to great lengths to redeem itself in the eyes of merchants and credit card company’s as its struggle for renewed legitimacy begins.