TJX data breach: At 45.6M card numbers, it's the biggest ever
It is hard to know exactly what kind of data was stolen because a lot of the information accessed by intruders was deleted by the company in the normal course of business. "In addition, the technology used by the intruder has, to date, made it impossible for us to determine the contents of most of the files we believe were stolen in 2006," the company said. It did not elaborate on the technology it was referring to.
Customer names and addresses were not included with any of the payment card data believed stolen from the Framingham systems, TJX said. Also, the company "generally" did not store Track 2 data from the magnetic stripe on the back of payment cards for transactions after September 2003, TJX said. Also by April 3, 2006, the company had begun to mask payment card PIN data and "some other portions of payment card transaction information" as well as check transaction information, the company said.
"We are continuing to try to identify information stolen in the computer intrusion through our investigation, but other than the information provided ... we believe that we may never be able to identify much of the information believed stolen," TJX said.
The company has so far spent about $5 million in connection with the breach, although it is hard to say what other costs may be incurred, the company warned. It cited several lawsuits that have been filed against it since the breach was announced. The company was sued recently by the Arkansas Carpenters Pension Fund, one of its shareholders, for its failure to divulge more details about the breach.
Avivan Litan, an analyst with Stamford,Conn.based Gartner Inc., expressed surprise at the scope of the breach. "I had heard rumors that it was bigger than CardSystems, but I was still somewhat shocked it was actually this big."
The number involved in the breach "makes this the biggest card heist ever," she said. "It proves there are still very sophisticated cybercriminals out there at large who have the potential to wreak havoc on pure-payment systems and who have already stolen millions of dollars from consumers and financial institutions," she said.
"If this isn't a wakeup call for stronger card and payment system security, I'm not sure what is," she said.
TJX's disclosure comes just days after six Florida residents were arrested for allegedly launching a multimillion-dollar statewide credit card fraud ring using information stolen from the company. Losses experienced by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. and other retailers because of the fraud have so far totaled at least $8 million.
Related Articles and Opinion
Massive data thefts
- Update: Mastermind of TJX, Heartland breaches to plead guilty
- Alleged data-heist kingpin is a computer addict, lawyer says
- Gonzalez's lawyer to contend he was not the kingpin of Heartland, Hannaford breaches
- Hacking kingpin negotiating plea deal with feds
- Three indicted for hack attacks on Heartland, Hannaford
- TJX data breach: At 45.6M card numbers, it's the biggest ever
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements addressed by Peer 1 Hosting This handy quick reference outlines the 12 PCI DSS 3.0 requirements, who needs to be compliant and how Alert Logic solutions address the...
- Defense Throughout the Vulnerability Life Cycle This whitepaper provides insight into how to leverage threat and log management technologies to protect your IT assets throughout their vulnerability life cycle.
- Mobile Policy Checklist Here's what to consider when putting together a mobile policy designed to support a highly productive workforce.
- Securing BYOD Mobile computing is becoming so ubiquitous that people no longer bat an eye seeing someone working two devices simultaneously. Individuals and organizations are...
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Streamline Software Asset Management, Compose a software Management Symphony Keeping track of your organization's software is easy with effective software management solutions from CDW. View the videos in our software solutions channel
- Druva inSync: Endpoint Data Protection & Governance CLICK HERE to watch this video about protecting corporate data on laptops and mobile devices, sponsored by Druva. All Security White Papers | Webcasts