Money For BreakfastJanuary 22, 2009 – Press Releases
Scott Vernick appeared on the nationally broadcast Fox News program “Money For Breakfast” on January 22, 2009, to discuss the Heartland Payment Systems credit data breach. Heartland processes approximately 100 million credit card transactions per month for 175,000 businesses.
The breach, which may have affected millions of credit card customers, is said to be one of the largest in history. Said Vernick, the breach was possibly a “sinuous attack” where a band of cyber criminals inserted “sniffer software” into Heartland’s systems and captured unencoded credit card information.
It is estimated that more than 100 million credit card holders may have been affected, and that credit card numbers and expirations dates were stolen – but that social security information and addresses had not been affected.
Vernick said the current estimate of those affected has been based on how many transactions Heartland processes per month, and that it would be “unlikely that we’re talking about that size” actually being affected.
When asked about Heartland’s liability for the breach, Vernick noted the following:
“What will happen here is that as the size and scope of the breach unfolds, what Heartland will really be responsible for is fraudulent transactions on individual consumer credit cards and the cost to the issuing banks of reissuing your credit card and my credit card and so forth. And that’s where the costs come in. How much that is, is hard to tell at the moment, but there are the principal costs that it will be looking at as it makes the banks whole who have issued credit cards and whose cards have been compromised in this particular breach.”