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Michaels confirms breach of as many as 2.6M cards

Michaels Hack Compromises About 3 Million Credit Cards


NEW YORK (AP) - Michaels Stores Inc. said Thursday that about 2.6 million cards, or about 7 percent of all debit and credit cards used at its namesake stores, may have been affected in a security breach.

The nation's largest arts and crafts chain said its subsidiary Aaron Brothers was also attacked, with about 400,000 cards potentially affected.

Irving, Texas-based Michaels said that it has contained the incident, which began last year. It has received "limited" reports of fraud from banks and the payment card brands that are potentially connected to the breach.

The compromised data includes customer information such as payment card numbers and expiration dates. But there's no evidence that other personal information such as names, addresses or PIN numbers were at risk, Michaels said.

Michaels' report comes as many shoppers worry about the safety of their personal data following a massive pre-Christmas security breach at Target Corp. that affected 40 million debit and credit cards.

The details come nearly three months after Michaels disclosed that it may have been a victim of a data breach and that it was working with law enforcement authorities, banks and payment processors.

The company said Thursday that both chains were attacked by criminals using highly sophisticated malware that had not been encountered previously by the two security firms that were conducting the investigation.

"Our customers are always number one priority and we are truly sorry for any inconvenience or concern Michaels may have caused," said Chuck Rubin, CEO of Michaels, in a statement.

The breach at Michaels stores occurred between May 8, 2013 and Jan. 27. The company confirmed that between June 26, 2013 and Feb. 27, 54 Aaron Brothers stores were affected by this malware.

Michaels said that it was offering free identity protection, credit monitoring and fraud assistance services to affected Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers in the U.S. for 12 months.

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9RRs April 18 2014 at 2:13 PM

This is why I use cash

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Kent April 18 2014 at 12:38 PM

Here's what I don't like about all of these security breaches at retailers. First, my credit card calls me to say that a retailer's security has been breached, and that they are issuing a new card. I don't get the option of keepin my card. Considering how many websites I have with my card number, it's a pain to go through and enter new card numbers. I would be more than willing to simply watch my bills and call the card company, as soon as I see something suspicious, or even check my bill online daily.

Second, they won't tell me which retailer has the breach. Maybe it's someone that I don't shop very often. I can simply avoid the store. If it's a store that I shop at reguarly, I can switch to cash.

It seems to me that Michael's is always having a breach, so perhaps my wife should switch stores for craft projects or only use cash there.

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1 reply
9RRs Kent April 18 2014 at 2:16 PM

Let me just say 1 thing the USA is so far behind in advancing the credit card. We the people are the only ones still using it. There talking about updating it in 2016 but with all this BS why Not now?? All of Europe already has it

Flag Reply +1 rate up
jamesrslater1 April 18 2014 at 12:10 AM

Credit/Debit cards in Europe have chips in them to prevent this. It comes at a cost banks don't want to get into. So what is more expensive... the cost of a chip for the banks, or damage to a person's credit?

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1 reply
LADY-M jamesrslater1 April 18 2014 at 9:57 AM

I thought I read recently that one of our credit card companies are going over to using the chip feature. Do not remember which card. Could be MasterCard or perhaps a bank debit card. I think it is a great idea.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
Shirley April 17 2014 at 11:52 PM

Why not, there is no protection for anyone.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
Richard April 17 2014 at 10:34 PM

These breeches are old news. So it is irresponsible that businesses continue to take no actions to prevent customer data theft. Michaels tries to discount its inaction by noting that the malware had not been encountered previously. The fact is that it took no preventative measures until a breech was made. For the consumer, if you know your credit information is going to be stored by a business, don't allow it. If if you must, do not give debit card information as funds are harder to restore than credit card thefts.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
cyretired April 17 2014 at 10:28 PM

Cash, don't leave home without it.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
cathiehrdy cyretired April 18 2014 at 1:11 AM

It is easier to get your money back from unauthorized use of a credit/debit card than it is if your purse or wallet is stolen.

Flag Reply +5 rate up
annett1955 cyretired April 18 2014 at 1:10 PM

You can't pay cash on an airplane. Sometimes you just have to eat and you just have to pay, with a credit card only!

Flag Reply +1 rate up
rpdappraisals April 17 2014 at 9:34 PM

Lets see the credit card companies move to smart cards, that slows down the fraud. That means a percentage of credit scores will not go down. The banks loose money by not being able to charge higher interest rates for lower credit scores. Do you really think the banks want the smart cards ?

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1 reply
brenhatestwinkie rpdappraisals April 17 2014 at 9:48 PM

great point

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crrunch April 17 2014 at 7:23 PM

cc's need to be harder to hack. locks keep honest people honest, they sat. at least target is going to chips as all the banks and other businesses SHOULD do starting yesterday.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
LindsayMWatson April 17 2014 at 7:56 PM

Need to use cash all the time in order to be safe.

Flag Reply +4 rate up
sallyinmich April 17 2014 at 7:15 PM

Oh no, well, no more using my debit card I guess

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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