TJX Companies earned an unenviable reputation in early 2007 with the data breach that compromised 45.7 million customer credit cards. But Heartland Payments Systems may well supplant the U.S. retailer as the largest victim of breach involving payment information.

This week, the New Jersey-based credit and debit card processingservices company said its systems had suffered an intrusion sometime in2008 when malicious software was planted to steal customer cardinformation as it travelled through the corporate network. Heartlandsaid it was alerted of suspicious activity by credit card companiesVisa and MasterCard.

Heartland certainly appears to be following the usual behaviour ofcorporate victims of public malicious attacks. They’re not divulginghow many credit cards may have been compromised, how long the hackersremained undiscovered, nor when it was told by Visa and MasterCard ofsuspicious activity.

But considering that Heartland processes more than 100 million cardtransactions monthly, that could be a pretty good indicator as to howmany cards are at risk. 

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
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