Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

1/21/2009
11:52 AM
George V. Hulme
George V. Hulme
Commentary
50%
50%

Heartland Payment Systems' Big Breach & Lame PR Tactic

A recent breach at Princeton, N.J.-based payment processor Heartland Payment Systems, by some accounts, may have totaled tens of millions of individual credit and debit card transactions. And what does the company do? It pulls a cheap PR tactic by announcing the breach on inauguration day.

A recent breach at Princeton, N.J.-based payment processor Heartland Payment Systems, by some accounts, may have totaled tens of millions of individual credit and debit card transactions. And what does the company do? It pulls a cheap PR tactic by announcing the breach on inauguration day.To be clear, Heartland executives won't confirm or deny the actual tally of credit cards that suffered fraudulent transactions. But, according to Washington Post reporter Brian Krebs, on his Security Fix blog, the Heartland Payment Systems breach may have compromised tens of millions of credit and debit card transactions:

If accurate, such figures may make the Heartland incident one of the largest data breaches ever reported.

Robert Baldwin, Heartland's president and chief financial officer, said the company, which processes payments for more than 250,000 businesses, began receiving fraudulent activity reports late last year from MasterCard and Visa on cards that had all been used at merchants which rely on Heartland to process payments.

However, in a story by Thomas Claburn published today, also based on an interview with Heartland's Robert Baldwin, the president and CFO took issue with those high numbers:

Baldwin said his company couldn't yet reveal an accurate number of exposed accounts. "There are some numbers flying around now that are not based on any discussion that Heartland has had with anyone," he said. "They are speculation. ...We just discovered this last week. We have been working around the clock to get data out to the public because it's consequential and we think it's important to be transparent on this."

I have a tough time digesting that Heartland "has been working around the clock to get the data out to the public because it's consequential and we think it's important to be transparent on this."

If the company believes that the information is important to the public because the news is "consequential" and that it's important to be "transparent," then why did the company choose to announce the breach on the day of the presidential inauguration? The decision resulted from either overlooking the obvious: that all eyes of the nation were focused on Washington, D.C.; or the company consciously chose to try bury the bad news on one of the biggest news days of the year.

My bet is on the later, and that's not exactly being transparent, is it?

 

Recommended Reading:

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 7/13/2020
Omdia Research Launches Page on Dark Reading
Tim Wilson, Editor in Chief, Dark Reading 7/9/2020
Russian Cyber Gang 'Cosmic Lynx' Focuses on Email Fraud
Kelly Sheridan, Staff Editor, Dark Reading,  7/7/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
The Threat from the Internetand What Your Organization Can Do About It
This report describes some of the latest attacks and threats emanating from the Internet, as well as advice and tips on how your organization can mitigate those threats before they affect your business. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-14298
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
The version of docker as released for Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 Extras via RHBA-2020:0053 advisory included an incorrect version of runc missing the fix for CVE-2019-5736, which was previously fixed via RHSA-2019:0304. This issue could allow a malicious or compromised container to compromise the co...
CVE-2020-15050
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
An issue was discovered in the Video Extension in Suprema BioStar 2 before 2.8.2. Remote attackers can read arbitrary files from the server via Directory Traversal.
CVE-2020-10987
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
The goform/setUsbUnload endpoint of Tenda AC15 AC1900 version 15.03.05.19 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary system commands via the deviceName POST parameter.
CVE-2020-10988
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
A hard-coded telnet credential in the tenda_login binary of Tenda AC15 AC1900 version 15.03.05.19 allows unauthenticated remote attackers to start a telnetd service on the device.
CVE-2020-10989
PUBLISHED: 2020-07-13
An XSS issue in the /goform/WifiBasicSet endpoint of Tenda AC15 AC1900 version 15.03.05.19 allows remote attackers to execute malicious payloads via the WifiName POST parameter.