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40 Million Credit Card Numbers Stolen Ė Failure To Encrypt

By: Richard A. Chapo
CardSystems Solutions moronic security efforts have resulted in the potential theft of information for 40 million credit cards. Hackers were able to install a rogue program, probably a Trojan, in the CardSystems security network. This program captured credit card information including the cardholderís name, account number and verification code.

CardSystems Solutions is an Atlanta-based company. Prior to this incident, it processed approximately $15 billion dollars in credit card transactions each year. Small businesses were the primary users of the system.

The FBI and MasterCard International have launched investigations into the hack. It has become apparent CardSystems Solutions should be charged with gross negligence. The company failed to comply with MasterCard security regulations and failed to destroy the information of cardholders after prescribed time periods.

In a matter of gross incompetence, CardSystems failed to encrypt any of credit card data for users. This is the equivalent of your bank sending monthly account statements will all the information printed on the outside of the envelope. It is simply inexcusable and has led to potentially the biggest theft of financial information in history.

Which Credit Cards?

The incompetence of CardSystems Solutions will have an impact on every major credit card group. Estimated numbers range from about 20 million Visa cards exposed to 14 million MasterCard credit cards. As many as 4 million American Express and Discover accounts were also put on the sacrificial altar by CardSystems.

What You Should Do

You should review all charges on credit card statements over the next 12 months. Contrary to popular belief, hackers typically will not go out and charge up thousands of dollars on the card. Instead, you should look for small charges of $10 to $20 from companies with bland names. Hackers know that many people will not call to reverse a small charge. Donít be lazy! Closely inspect your statement and contest any charges that arenít familiar.


How big is this hack? There are approximately 300 million people in the United States. 40 million accounts equates to 1 in every 7.5 people. Yes, people carry multiple credit cards, but it is still a huge number. CardSystems Solutions should pay a heavy price for its incompetence. Frankly, it should be liquidated. There is little doubt the major credit card companies will take action.

About the Author

Richard A. Chapo is a San Diego Business Lawyer with - This article is for information purposes only. Nothing in this article is intended to address the readerís specific situation nor does it create an attorney-client relationship.


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