Data Breach

Heartland Payment Systems Data Breach

Heartland Payment Systems Data Breach

Thieves have recently stolen computers belonging to Heartland Payment Systems. Those computers may contain customer information. If you are a customer of Heartland Payment Systems, then your personal and financial information may have been stolen. Please contact us using the form on this page or call The Class Action News at 817-455-6822.

Background

On May 8, 2015 a Heartland Payment Systems office in Santa Ana, California suffered a break-in. Thieves stole many items, including 11 password protected computers. Initial reports indicate that at least 4 of the stolen computers had personally identifiable information (PII) used in payroll processing. This information may include social security numbers and bank account information. Heartland’s June 1st statement on the matter suggests that the computers were not encrypted like most of their other computers. Heartland has notified 2,200 individuals who may have been affected but this number may increase as the situation is investigated.

Heartland Payment Systems, Inc. is a Fortune 1000 company that provides payment processing, payroll services, security technology, and marketing solutions to more than 300,000 businesses nationwide. The company processes more than 11 million transactions a day and more than $80 billion in transactions a year. Heartland is the 6th largest payment processor in the country by transaction volume and 9th largest in the world.

This is not the first time Heartland has suffered a data breach. In 2008, hackers stole customer data which left an estimated 100 million payment cards and 650 companies vulnerable.

Data Breach

A data breach occurs when an unauthorized person views, accesses, or retrieves protected or confidential data belonging to another. The data targeted is usually personal or financial information belonging to a company’s customers. In recent years computer hacking has become the most recognizable form of data breaches. But a data breach can also occur when there has been a physical breach. Physical data breaches occur when someone actually steals tangible confidential material. This can include things like paper documents, computer hard drives, laptops, and recorded media.

Personally Identifiable Information

Personally identifiable information (PII) is any data that could potentially identify a specific individual. Any information that can be used to distinguish one person from another and can be used for de-anonymizing anonymous data can be considered personally identifiable information.

Unencrypted Computers

Encryption is the process of encoding messages or information in such a way that only authorized parties can read it. Encryption does not of itself prevent interception, but denies the message content to the interceptor.
In Heartland’s case, if the stolen computers were not encrypted and only had password protection, then once the thieves get past the password they will have complete access to all the information contained in those computers.

Potential Class Action

Thieves have stolen computers and equipment belonging to Heartland Payment Systems. The information on those computers may contain the personal information belonging to any of Heartland’s customers and any of the businesses that Heartland services. If you or your business is a customer of Heartland Payment Systems, then your personal and financial information may have been stolen. Please contact us using the form on this page or call us at 817-455-6822.

 

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