In a recent statement released on the Kmart website, CEO Alasdair James expressed comfort and raised caution to Kmart members by highlighting Kmart’s “investigation working with a leading IT security firm.” But is that enough to keep customers feeling financially safe? What more can Kmart do to prevent this breach and gain back the trust from millions of customers?
The ongoing financial breaches to well-known franchises are happening every week it seems, leading to the ultimate question, “will our finances ever be safe from purchasing items with plastic?”
Let’s break down the current breach with Kmart.
On Friday, October 10, Sears (brand for Kmart) silently announced Kmart was attacked with a data breach by filing the breach with the Securities and Exchange Commission. In a recent report Sears shared the information that Kmart’s POS (point of sales systems) were compromised by malicious software.
Kmart continues in their statement, del-“nofollow” “Based on the forensic investigation to date, no personal information, no debit card PIN numbers, no email addresses and no social security numbers were obtained by those criminally responsible. There is also no evidence that kmart.com customers were impacted. This data breach has been contained and the malware has been removed. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our members and customers.”
But how did this happen? Who can obtain this information and how are these hackers getting into secured systems?
October 10, 2014
To Our Members,
I am reaching out to inform our loyal Kmart customers of a recent payment security incident. On Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014 our IT team detected that our Kmart store payment data system had been breached and immediately launched a full investigation working with a leading IT security firm. The security experts report that beginning in early September, the payment data systems at Kmart stores were purposely infected with a new form of malware (similar to a computer virus). This resulted in debit and credit card numbers being compromised.
Based on the forensic investigation to date, no personal information, no debit card PIN numbers, no email addresses and no social security numbers were obtained by those criminally responsible. There is also no evidence that kmart.com customers were impacted. This data breach has been contained and the malware has been removed. I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause our members and customers.
It’s important to note that the policies of the credit card companies state that customers have zero liability for any unauthorized charges if they report them in a timely manner.
The privacy and security of our customers’ information is of utmost importance to us, and we are committed to doing everything we can to safeguard our customers’ information in the face of a recent surge of data attacks. To further protect our members and customers who shopped with a credit or debit card in our Kmart stores during the month of September through yesterday (Oct. 9, 2014), Kmart will be offering free credit monitoring protection.
Given the criminal nature of this attack, Kmart is working closely with federal law enforcement authorities, our banking partners as well as security experts in this ongoing investigation.
I want our customers to be aware of the situation and I suggest that customers carefully review and monitor their credit and debit card account statements. If customers see any sign of suspicious activity, they should immediately contact their card issuer. More guidance is also available on our website, kmart.com and customers can contact our customer care center at 888-488-5978.
President and Chief Member Officer
Millions of victims still at risk with their financial information in jeopardy. Some victims of Kmart will brush this information under the table, trusting in Kmart and their CEO. However, for those victims who are in financial counseling, their trust has been broken and the loss of customers is a result for Kmart.
For those who are affected or looking for more answers, you can contact Kmart customer care at 888-488-5978 or visit their website, kmart.com for more information.
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Source: kmart.com and Forbes