On Friday, we heard the news that payments processor Global Payments was hit with a massive security breach involving MasterCard and Visa cardholders. At the time it was unclear the reach of the security issue, which was being investigated by the U.S. Secret Service. Tonight, Global Payments reports that those cards affected in the breach processing system were confined to North America and up to 1.5 million card numbers may have been exported. Visa had originally pegged that number at around 50,000 cards stolen.
So far, the investigation has revealed that card numbers may have been stolen, but that cardholder names, addresses and social security numbers were not obtained by the criminals. As stated in the release: Based on the forensic analysis to date, network monitoring and additional security measures, the company believes that this incident is contained.
“We are making rapid progress toward bringing this issue to a close. Our nearly 4,000 employees around the world are focused on providing exceptional service. We are open for business and continue to process transactions for all of the card brands,” said Global Payments CEO Paul R. Garcia in a release.
The fact that data like social security numbers and addresses weren’t stolen in the security breach is good news for cardholders. Still, credit card companies will have to re-issue new cards to those affected and monitor accounts, and the potential reach of the breach is much larger than expected. The Wall Street Journal reported that Global Payments handled $120.6 billion in Visa and MasterCard card volume last year alone.
It’s still unclear the origin of the hack.