Heartland Payment Systems Uncovers Malicious Software In Its Processing System (updated)

From their press release:

Payments processor Heartland Payment Systems has learned it was the victim of a security breach within its processing system in 2008. Heartland believes the intrusion is contained.

[…]

No merchant data or cardholder Social Security numbers, unencrypted personal identification numbers (PIN), addresses or telephone numbers were involved in the breach. Nor were any of Heartland’s check management systems; Canadian, payroll, campus solutions or micropayments operations; Give Something Back Network; or the recently acquired Network Services and Chockstone processing platforms.

After being alerted by Visa® and MasterCard® of suspicious activity surrounding processed card transactions, Heartland enlisted the help of several forensic auditors to conduct a thorough investigation into the matter. Last week, the investigation uncovered malicious software that compromised data that crossed Heartland’s network.

[…]

Heartland has created a website – www.2008breach.com – to provide information about this incident and advises cardholders to examine their monthly statements closely and report any suspicious activity to their card issuers. Cardholders are not responsible for unauthorized fraudulent charges made by third parties.

Update 1: NetworkWorld reports that breach warnings issued by Oregon Territory Federal Credit Union and Franciscan Skemp Credit Union [pdf] in Wisconsin may be related.

Update 2: Brian Krebs reports that:

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.

Baldwin said 40 percent of transactions the company processes are from small to mid-sized restaurants across the country. He declined to name any well-known establishments or retail clients that may have been affected by the breach.

“The transactional data crossing our platform, in terms of magnitude… is about 100 million transactions a month,” Baldwin said. “At this point, though, we don’t know the magnitude of what was grabbed.”

Update 3: Tom Claburn has some great coverage on Information Week that provides more info on the nature of the breach:

“There were two elements to it, one of which was a keylogger that got through our firewall,” he said. “Then subsequently it was able to propagate a sniffer onto some of the machines in our network. And those are what was actually grabbing the transactions as they floated over our network.”

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