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first citibank now mastercard what?

Discussion in 'News' started by mentor, Jun 18, 2005.

  1. mentor

    mentor New Jack

    Joined: Jun 6, 2005 Messages: 37 Likes Received: 0
    so this shit is crazy.....last week citibank claimed that 3 .9 million of the cardholders personal information was stolen from a computer being shipped UPS....now mastercard has had a "virus" steal 40 million more personal account information...i dont know what to make of it but i imagine this is a similar enron esque situation in which people get screwed and banks make off like bandits.....anyway, heres the article from yahoo about mastercard.....id like to hear what everyone else is thinking about this 'coincidence'

    NEW YORK - The names, banks and account numbers of up to 40 million credit card holders may have been accessed by an unauthorized user, MasterCard International Inc. said Friday.

    The credit card giant said the security breach involves a computer virus that captured customer data for the purpose of fraud and may have affected holders of all brands of credit cards.

    It said the breach was traced to Atlanta-based CardSystems Solutions Inc., which processes credit card and other payments for banks and merchants.

    The compromised data did not include addresses or Social Security numbers, said MasterCard spokeswoman Sharon Gamsin. The data that may have been viewed — names, banks and account numbers — could be used to steal funds but not identities.

    Gamsin said she did not know how a virus-like computer script that captured customer data got into CardSystems' network, which MasterCard said was infiltrated by an unauthorized individual. Neither company would elaborate.

    The FBI was investigating.

    The incident was the latest in a series of security breaches affecting valuable consumer data at major financial institutions and data brokers in an increasingly database-driven world.

    The breach appears to be the largest yet involving financial data, said David Sobel, general counsel at the Electronic Privacy Information Center.

    "The steady stream of these disclosures shows the pressing need for regulation of the industry both in terms of limitation in the amount of personal information that companies collect and also liability when these kinds of disclosures occur," Sobel said.

    A flurry of disclosures of breaches affecting high-profile companies including Citigroup Inc., Bank of America Corp. and DSW Shoe Warehouse has prompted federal lawmakers to draw up legislation designed to better protect consumer privacy.

    MasterCard, which said about 14 million of its own cards were exposed, first announced the breach in a news release Friday afternoon, saying it was notifying its card-issuing banks of the problem.

    However, CardSystems said late Friday in a statement vetted by the FBI that it first learned of a potential breach on May 22. It said it was told by the FBI not to release any information to the public. The company said it was surprised by MasterCard's decision to go public.

    "We were absolutely blindsided by a press release by the association," CardSystems' chief financial officer, Michael A. Brady, told The Associated Press when reached on his cell phone. He refused to answer any questions and referred calls to the company's chief executive, John M. Perry, and its senior vice president of marketing, Bill N. Reeves.

    Reeves said the information the company gathered initially was "on a need-to-know basis." He said he could not comment beyond a company statement, which did not give any details about the breach but noted that CardSystems is implementing increased security measures.

    "I understand and fully appreciate the seriousness of the situation," Reeves said.

    Under federal law, credit card holders are liable for no more than $50 of unauthorized charges, and many card issuers including MasterCard will even waive the $50.

    CardSystems processes less than 0.5 percent of American Express' domestic transactions, said company spokeswoman Judy Tenzer. She said a small number of its cardholders were affected, though she did not have an exact figure.

    Discover Financial Services Inc. said it was aware of the situation and would not say whether any of its cards were involved. Visa USA and a large issuer of cards, MBNA Corp., did not immediately calls seeking comment.

    CardSystems, which has a processing center in Tucson, Ariz., has been in business for more than 15 years and handles transactions for more than 115,000 small to mid-sized businesses, according to the company's Web site. The company says it processes transactions worth more than $15 billion annually.

    Sobel said the fact that the latest breach involved a third party "indicates that this is a shadowy industry where the consumer never really knows who is going to be handling and using their personal information."

    Earlier this month, Citigroup said UPS lost computer tapes with sensitive information from 3.9 million customers of CitiFinancial, a unit that provides personal and home loans.

    There have also been breaches involving other kinds of sensitive data.

    ChoicePoint Inc. said in February that thieves using stolen identities had created 50 dummy businesses that pulled data including names, addresses and Social Security numbers on as many as 145,000 people.

    In March, LexisNexis Inc. disclosed that hackers had commandeered a database and gained access to the personal files of as many as 32,000 people.

    The company has since increased its estimate of the people affected to 310,000. Information accessed included names, addresses and Social Security and driver's license numbers, but not credit history, medical records or financial information, corporate parent Reed Elsevier Group PLC said in a statement.

  2. mentor

    mentor New Jack

    Joined: Jun 6, 2005 Messages: 37 Likes Received: 0
    heres the citibank article:

    NEW YORK - CitiFinancial, the consumer finance division of Citigroup Inc., said Monday it has begun notifying some 3.9 million U.S. customers that computer tapes containing their personal data had been lost.

    New York-based Citigroup said the tapes were in a box shipped in May via UPS Inc. from a Citigroup facility in Weehawken, N.J. to an Experian credit bureau facility in Allen, Texas. Data on the tapes included account information, payment histories and Social Security numbers.

    The data involved only information on consumers who had taken out loans with Citibank, such as personal loans or debt consolidation loans, according to the firm. Savings and checking account customers were not impacted, the firm said.

    Most of the impacted consumers are current Citibank loan customers, but about 55,000 of the records on the tape involved consumers with closed accounts, a Citibank spokesman said. The firm said customers of its CitiFinancial Auto, CitiFinancial Mortgage or other Citigroup businesses were not impacted.

    In a statement, Citigroup said that CitiFinancial “had no reason to believe that this information has been used inappropriately, nor has it received any reports of unauthorized activity.”

    Norman Black, a spokesman for Atlanta-based UPS, confirmed that the tapes were missing.
    “Despite an exhaustive search for this package, we’ve been unable to find it,” Black said.

    Citigroup's announcement came just as the nation's top security experts gathered in Washington D.C. for an annual conference sponsored by research firm Gartner. Experts expressed surprise and dismay at the news.

    "This is really inexcusable," said Gartner analyst Avivah Litan. "This is security 101. This shows just how out of control all this data is."

    The announcement was just the latest in a series of data losses or breaches that have forced financial institutions and other data collectors to warn customers that their personal information may be at risk.

    Last month, Time Warner Inc. said that computer backup tapes containing data on 600,000 current and former employees were lost by an outside data storage firm. Also in May, more than 100,000 customers of Wachovia Corp. and Bank of America Corp., both headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., were notified that their financial records may have been stolen by bank employees and sold to collection agencies. Police officials say nearly 700,000 customers of four banks may be affected in all. And in April, online discount broker Ameritrade Holding Corp. said it had informed some 200,000 current and former customers that a backup computer tape with personal information had been lost.

    Kevin Kessinger, executive vice president of Citigroup’s Global Consumer Group and president of Consumer Finance North America, told The Associated Press that the tapes left CitiFinancial on May 2 and were discovered missing on May 20. Senior managers were notified May 24. The Secret Service was told of the loss of the tapes on May 27 and began investigating.

    Kessinger said the bank’s letter encouraged consumers to review activity on all their accounts to make sure nothing suspicious was occurring. He said CitiFinancial also was arranging for all affected customers to sign up free of charge with a credit monitoring service for 90 days. And, he said, if a customer is victimized, they will get free help from Citigroup’s Identity Theft resolution service.

    Customers who are concerned about identity theft should visit the local CitiFinancial branch, or call 866-452-2484.

    “Clearly we regret that this happened with our customers,” Kessinger said. “We’re trying to be upfront — to communicate and to talk about what the issues are.”

    Gartner's Litan said consumers deserve more than 90 days worth of the service, however, since many identity thieves squirrel away stolen data for months before using it.

    "This is a mediocre response, they are throwing people a bone," she said. "Three to five years would have been more meaningful."

    CitiFinancial said in its statement that the data loss “occurred in spite of the enhanced security procedures we require of our couriers.”

    It said there was little risk of the accounts being compromised because most customers already had received their loans and that no additional credit could be issued without the customers’ approval.

    However, since the tapes include personal identification information such as Social Security numbers, thieves who managed to access the data could open accounts at other financial institutions or commit a wide array of identity theft crimes.

    Account information is sent regularly by financial institutions to credit bureaus to keep consumer credit reports up to date. In the past, all firms sent such tapes to the credit bureaus, though now many firms send the information electronically. In an Internet-based seminar last month, Experian, the credit bureau to which the lost data was headed, specifically recommends electronic delivery.

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    Debby Hopkins, chief operations and technology officer for Citigroup, said that the tapes were produced “in a sophisticated mainframe data center environment” and would be difficult to decode without the right equipment and special software.

    Hopkins said that most Citigroup units send data electronically in encrypted form and that CitiFinancial data will be sent that way starting in July.

    Tumbleweed Communications Corp. performs such encrypted data transmissions for eight of the top 10 financial institutions, including Wells Fargo and Bank of America, according to CEO Jeff Smith. He said the CitiFinancial incident points out a bit of any irony — in this case, transmission over the Internet is more secure than old-fashioned means. Citigroup is not a customer, he said.

    "If you send it encrypted directly, we're going to pull people and third parties out of the process. When you do that, you are less susceptible to fraud," Smith said. "It's also a lot cheaper than UPS."
  3. mentor

    mentor New Jack

    Joined: Jun 6, 2005 Messages: 37 Likes Received: 0
    i thought this part was esspecially fucked up

    "arranging for all affected customers to sign up free of charge with a credit monitoring service for 90 days"

    even though it says"However, since the tapes include personal identification information such as Social Security numbers, thieves who managed to access the data could open accounts at other financial institutions or commit a wide array of identity theft crimes."

    this shit is fucked....what i believe happened is someone high in rank at these banks sold this info to some shady muh fuggas and im personally glad to not have a creditcard right now
  4. dumy

    dumy Veteran Member

    Joined: Oct 8, 2004 Messages: 5,056 Likes Received: 0
    this shit definitely seems fishy as hell..I wanna see what happens next..