Heartland Victims Feel Ongoing Pain of Debit Card Debacle

The massive security breach at Heartland continues to sting credit unions.  MidFlorida Federal Credit Union had to issue 12,000 new debit cards this week after detecting continuing attempts to defraud their members as a result of the Heartland disaster.  The total number of reissued debit cards is now 17,000 for this credit union alone.  MidFlorida also incurred the expense of warning their 80,000 debit card holders to be wary of suspicious activity on their cards.

Heartland’s breach was an external attack that stole over 130 million credit and debit card transactions.  In turn, this data was sold to criminals from all over the globe.  This is the largest known security breach in history, netting the primary perpetrator of the crime at least 2.8 million dollars, and forcing financial institutions to spend monstrous amount of dollars to notify consumers, close accounts, and reissue credit and debit cards.    

Even though the primary perpetrator of the breach has already plead guilty and been sentenced to 20 years in prison, victimized institutions continue to see fraudulent activity on member accounts.  With a data breach of the size and scope of Heartland’s, institutions can and will continue to suffer attacks for years to come.  Any financial institution that had credit cards processed through Heartland will need heightened vigilance against further fraud.  Cybercrime remains common because criminals face relatively low risk against detection and can gain high yields of illicit profits.

While not affected by the Heartland disaster, CU*Answers can help clients protect themselves against data breaches.  CU*Answers offers Compromised Credit Card Processing through the Gividends program.  CU*Answers allows a victimized credit union to build new cards, close or Hotcard affected accounts, and notify affected members.  This inexpensive protection can go a long way to reducing the costs a credit union might face as a result of data breaches.

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