Million Card Numbers Stolen In Saks, Lord & Taylor Hack

Hudson's Bay Co. says customer payment card information may have been stolen from shoppers at certain Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off Fifth, and Lord & Taylor stores in North America.

The payment systems for Lord & Taylor and Saks Fifth Avenue department stores were breached by hackers who stole the data from credit cards for millions of the stores' shoppers.

Hudson's Bay Co. says it will offer free identity protection services - including credit and web monitoring - to customers whose information was stolen.

"There is no indication based on our investigation that Social Security or Social Insurance numbers, driver's license numbers, or PINs have been affected by this issue".

Now, the two companies not only have to deal with the negative press and their customers' anger, but they are also liable for this data breach.

The news follows a 2017 Buzzfeed investigation that revealed many of Saks Fifth Avenue's customer records (not payment details) were stored in plain text on publicly accessible servers.

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Discovered by Gemini Data and announced today, the theft of the data is believed to have begun in May 2017 and may still be ongoing, with records stolen from stores in NY state, New Jersey and three locations in Canada.

"However, cardholders who frequently shop at luxury retail chains like Saks Fifth Avenue are more likely to purchase high-ticket items regularly; therefore, it will be extremely hard to distinguish fraudulent transactions from those of a legitimate nature, allowing criminals to abuse stolen payment cards and remain undetected for a longer period of time". Gemini Advisory became aware of the breach as early as March 28, when a hacker group listed a cache of stolen credit cards for sale in a dark web forum.

Cybersecurity security firm Gemini Advisory; which identified the issue said the breach likely affected more than 130 Saks and Lord and Taylor locations in the U.S. Roughly 125,000 payment cards and the involved information have so far been released for sale, Dmitry Chorine, Gemini's chief technology officer, told Reuters.

These are not the only chains hit by the hacker group, but this is the largest data breach that hit retail companies.

In the cybercrime world, it's "hacks of Fifth Avenue".

There will certainly be kerfuffle as the companies sort out their systems, but one thing's for sure: This is a stark reminder when it comes to credit card transactions. For transactions that have taken place since your last statement, call the customer-service number on the back of the card or log into any online account you may have with the card issuer.

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