On January 25, Michaels Stores issued a statement that began:
Michaels Stores, Inc. (the “Company” or “Michaels”) recently learned of possible fraudulent activity on some U.S. payment cards that had been used at Michaels, suggesting that the Company may have experienced a data security attack. The Company is working closely with federal law enforcement and is conducting an investigation with the help of third-party data security experts to establish the facts. Although the investigation is ongoing, based on the information the Company has received and in light of the widely reported criminal efforts to penetrate the data systems of U.S. retailers, Michaels believes it is appropriate to let its customers know a potential issue may have occurred.
A similar notice was posted on Aaron Brothers’ web site. Aaron Brothers is an arts and framing chain of 152 stores, and is owned by Michaels Stores.
It is now two months later, and there’s been no updated statement confirming or denying any breach. The statement on their web page about the alleged incident starts:
At this time we are still unsure that an incident occurred, but we are working very hard to establish the facts, and promise to update this page as we have more information.
but there is no date on that statement.
So two months later, they haven’t found evidence of a breach? Some breaches can take months to detect, but is it possible this was a false alarm? So far, I haven’t seen any consumers complaining online about having become victims of card fraud after shopping at Michaels Stores.
I’ll be curious to see their update when they issue it.
In the meantime, a lawsuit filed against Michaels only two days after Michaels’ announcement seems to be adding more plaintiffs for a class action lawsuit, although none of them seem to be alleging they suffered any card fraud, and the basis for their suit seems to rely on Brian Kreb’s column and Michaels Stores’ January 25th statement that they were investigating the allegations.