Visa Mastercard Security Breach

01.22.09 | FL News Team

Visa and MasterCard have started notifying banks around the country about a potential security breach. "USA Today" reports the credit card giants say some credit card accounts that are a part of the Heartland Payment Systems may have been compromised.

Robert Baldwin, Heartland's President, says Visa and MasterCard are telling many card issuers to offer fraud-monitoring protection, replace cards, or do a combination of both for customers whose card purchases were processed by Heartland. Both Visa and MasterCard declined to comment, citing the ongoing FBI criminal investigation of the possible security breach.

Earlier this week, Heartland said intruders had cracked the system it uses to process 100-million card transactions each month from 175-thousand merchants. Baldwin says anyone who used a Visa or MasterCard at one of the restaurants or retailers that rely on Heartland to process card transactions could be at risk.

Heartland hasn't been able to determine a specific start and end date for the intrusion, and hasn't been able to determine how many transaction records were stolen.