Thursday, March 29, 2007

Massive theft of credit card data at TJX in US and UK

As the Boston Globe reports in its online edition today, retail firm TJX Companies, Inc. has been the subject of a hacker attack that has resulted in the biggest theft of credit and debit card numbers ever.

TJX operates around 2500 stores and owns T.J. Maxx, Marshall's and A.J. Wright in the United States as well as Winners in Canada and T.K. Maxx in the UK and Ireland.

As the firm disclosed in a regulatory filing to the SEC yesterday, the hacker(s) had been active since 2005 in its system. It was only in December 2006 that the intrusion was detected and stopped. TJX estimates that at least 45.7 mio. credit and debit card numbers were compromised in computer systems at its headquarters in Framingham, Mass. and Watford (UK). An apologetic letter from the company's CEO on its website dates from February 21 and gives information on contact numbers and recommended steps for customers. It als says that it is sending letters to the estimated 455,000 customers whose driver's license numbers, state identification numbers, or military identification numbers and names and addresses were believed to have been stolen.

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