Law enforcement officials are investigating what appears to be a massive theft of U.S. consumers’ credit card data, MasterCard and Visa confirmed Friday. The computer security expert who first reported the theft said it might involve as many as 10 million accounts, making it one of the largest known credit card heists.
“MasterCard is currently investigating a potential account data compromise event of a U.S.-based entity and, as a result, we have alerted payment card issuers regarding certain MasterCard accounts that are potentially at risk,” that association said in a statement. “Law enforcement has been notified of this matter and the incident is currently the subject of an ongoing forensic review by an independent data security organization.”
Payment processor Global Payments said late Friday it was the target of the hack.
In a statement, the firm said it “identified and self-reported unauthorized access into a portion of its processing system.” Earlier Friday, trading in Global Payments stock had been halted.
“In early March 2012, the company determined card data may have been accessed,” the firm said. “It immediately engaged external experts in information technology forensics and contacted federal law enforcement. The company promptly notified appropriate industry parties to allow them to minimize potential cardholder impact. The company is continuing its investigation into this matter.”
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