Another day, another hack. Today, we learn the mega retailer Staples is the latest company to fall victim to clever hackers and expose customers' valuable information. Here are the details.
Multiple banks are reporting point-of-sale breaches across multiple Staples locations in the United States. In case you haven't been keeping up with my coverage of the massive wave of data breaches that've been coming to light recently, then here's what that means:
A point-of-sale breach means that someone was able to install malware onto a company's credit card reader. Any swiped card may have been stolen along with the security code and the name on the card. That means that hackers could potentially use your stolen card to make fraudulent charges.
While Staples has not yet confirmed the breach, the company is running an investigation as you're reading this.
Staples' Senior Public Relations Manager, Mark Cautela confirmed that the company was investigating the breach, reassuring Staples customers that, "If Staples discovers an issue, it is important to note that customers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity on their credit cards that is reported on [in] a timely basis.”
According to KrebsOnSecurity, more than half a dozen sources at banks uncovered states that could've been affected:
- Seven Staples stores in Pennsylvania
- At least three in New York
- At least one in New Jersey
While this may seem like a relatively small hack at this point, it could indicate a much larger problem at other Staples stores in other states.
You should prepare yourself for more potential data breaches at retail stores. Hackers seem to have discovered easy-to-use malware that affects point-of-sale card readers.
While even financial institutions aren't safe from data breaches, as we saw with the JPMorgan disaster I covered a few weeks ago, I think the best thing that you can do for yourself right now is to carry cash.