Six month exposure window on Heartland breach?

According to a CBS news report, Platte Valley Bank issued the following release today:

The VISA Fraud Control & Investigations has been notified of a confirmed network intrusion that has put VISA account numbers at risk. Platte Valley Bank received a VISA Alert Wednesday, January 21, 2009. As of Thursday morning, January 22nd, 388 of Platte Valley Bank’s Debit Card customers have been affected. The entity type was classified as a “Brick & Mortar 3rd Party Processor”. No word yet on any Credit Cards being affected, but possibly could be, as this is related to the Heartland Payment Systems Breach announced yesterday, January 21, 2009.

The reported incident involves confirmed unauthorized access to a U.S. 3RD party processor’s authorization system of signature-based and PIN-based transaction information, that included cardholder name, expiration date, account numbers and some encrypted PIN blocks. Exposure Window was May 15, 2008 through November 13, 2008.


The release raises additional questions, including:

How did the window of exposure end on November 13 if Heartland didn’t find any evidence of a breach until last week (and seemingly wouldn’t be able to stop the bleeding until they found out where the problem was)?

Maybe some kind reader with a security background can explain that.

In other Heartland news, Forcht Bank updated the alert on their site and confirmed that their debit card breach was part of the Heartland breach.

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