[ISN] Over 5 million Visa/MasterCard accounts hacked into

From: InfoSec News (isnat_private)
Date: Tue Feb 18 2003 - 00:46:01 PST

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    NEW YORK (Reuters) - More than five million Visa and MasterCard
    accounts throughout the nation were accessed after the computer system
    at a third party processor was hacked into, according to
    representatives for the card associations.
    Early indications were that none of the information, which would
    include credit card numbers, was used in a fraudulent way, according
    to the representatives.
    The associations said they could not provide a timeline of when the
    breach took place or details on how it was accomplished because it
    involved a third party processor used by merchants and not Visa or
    MasterCard systems. The associations said they could not disclose the
    name of that processor.
    Visa and MasterCard are associations made up of financial institutions
    who issue the cards.
    MasterCard said it began to notify its members the week of Feb. 3 that
    more than 2 million MasterCard accounts had been broken into after the
    processor told it about the problem, MasterCard spokeswoman Sharon
    Gamsin told Reuters.
    About 3.4 million Visa accounts also have been accessed in the
    incident, according to spokesman John Abrams.
    "Visa's fraud team immediately notified all affected card issuing
    financial institutions and is working with the third-party payment
    card processor to protect against the threat of a future intrusion,"  
    the association said in a statement.
    Neither Visa nor MasterCard would disclose which institution were
    "This is not something regional, it was throughout the nation and
    could be any bank," Abrams said.
    Both associations said no customer would be liable for any charges
    incurred as a result of fraud. They said the processor was working
    with law enforcement officials on the matter.
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