Hackers Breach Visa, Mastercard Processor; 50,000 Cards Compromised


Hackers have broken into an Atlanta-based payments processor, Global Payments, Inc, potentially accessing more than 50,000 Visa or Mastercard accounts between January 21 and February 25.

The extent of the breaches are still unknown, and Global Payments didn’t disclose what type of data had been accessed.

Global Payments is considered a “third-party processor” that serve as a middleman between merchants and banks.

But this latest credit card data breach by hackers emphasizes the risks among banks and smaller financial services companies. Online crime, hacking, and security breaches can hurt the credit histories for millions of innocent consumers.

In fact, a new report from PricewaterhouseCoopers says cybercrime made up 38% of all economic crime experienced at financial service companies in 2011.

What’s interesting is that the 38% figure represents a huge jump from 2009, when financial service firms reported no cybercrime at all.

But was there actually no cybercrime, or was it that financial service firms didn’t know enough about the problem to realize it was happening?

That’s the question asked in this report: has cybercrime gotten worse or is the increased figure due to an increased adoption of technologies that help organizations understand where and when they have been attacked?

Here are some other key statistics from the security awareness report:

  • 45% of financial services organizations have suffered frauds in the last 12 months.
  • There has been a 50% increase in frauds committed by senior management in financial services organizations in the last 2 years.
  • Cybercrime is the 2nd most commonly reported type of economic crime in financial services organizations.
  • 20% failed to carry out a fraud risk assessment in the last 12 months.
  • Almost a third of staff in financial services organizations did not have any cyber-security training in the last 12 months.



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Elaine Rigoli

Elaine Rigoli is PRIVATE WiFi's manager of digital content strategy.