Fred’s investigates credit card breach

Brian Krebs reports:

Fred’s Inc., a discount general merchandise and pharmacy chain that operates 650 stores in more than a dozen states, disclosed today that it is investigating a potential credit card breach.

KrebsOnSecurity contacted Fred’s earlier this week, after hearing from multiple financial institutions about a pattern of fraud on customer cards indicating that Fred’s was the latest victim of card-stealing malware secretly installed on point-of-sale systems at checkout lanes.

Sources said it was unclear how many Fred’s locations were affected, but that the pattern of fraudulent charges traced back to Fred’s stores across the company’s footprint in the midwest and south, including Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas.

Read more on KrebsOnSecurity.com.

Ed Arnold subsequently reported:

Fred’s confirmed its investigation to Krebs last week and issued the following statement:

“Fred’s Inc. recently became aware of a potential data security incident and immediately launched an internal investigation to determine the scope of the issue. We retained Mandiant, a leading independent forensics firm, to examine our data security systems.

“We want to assure our customers that protecting their information is one of our top priorities and we are taking this potential incident very seriously. Until this investigation is completed, it will be difficult to determine with certainty the scope or nature of any potential incident, but we will continue to work vigilantly to address any potential issues that may affect our customers.”

The breach seems to have come from malware installed directly on the company’s point-of-sale systems.

Read more on Memphis Business Journal.

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