With all the earnest concern of a 2-year-old with milk on his chin, Heartland Payment Systems, a credit transaction processor for over 250,000 businesses, has reported a mighty considerable data breach. From it's Princeton NJ headquarters, Heartland has reported that investigators hired by the company have discovered malicious software which was intercepting transaction data as it was being sent to its in-house system for processing. The company considers the theft of customer names, card numbers and card expiration dates to be good news, as opposed to if data thieves had also harvested Social Security numbers and card holder addresses. Apparently, Heartland Payment Systems has formed the opinion that this data breach presents little in the way of an identity theft hazard. A report from WashingtonPost.com, Security Fix
, indicates that the security breach at Heartland initially occurred last year. The report also states that U.S. Secret Service has been involved in the investigation. What the report cannot say is which of Heartland's many business clients may have had transaction data stolen. Evidently, it's Heartland's position that to start naming names would be unfair to clients whose transactions may not have been compromised.
At this point, consumers who may have been affected by this data theft may sit back and relax knowing that, for now, sitting back and relaxing is the only option that Heartland Payment Systems is providing as redress. All indications are that the company considers this situation to be of minimal hazard to the financial well being of consumers. However, if you've recently been issued a new credit card or account number by your bank, your transactions might have been involved in this security breach. Consumers are encouraged to carefully review all credit account statements they receive.