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article imageHackers Move In On TKMaxx Customers

By Michelle Duffy     Mar 30, 2007 in Business
Hackers have gathered personal information from 45.7 million payment cards used by customers of the US retailer TJX, which owns TJ Maxx. This news will also be important for UK customers as outlet, TKMaxx, is owned by the same company
US watchdog organisations have been informed that there is a serious breach of security of customer information yet the scale of which is not actually known so far. The exact effect of the the theft of information is also not known how this will effect customers.
TJX has feared that this will also mean bad news for UK and Ireland customers as the companies spread across these countries.
There is, believe it or not, some good news. It is strongly expected that the information which has probably been taken will be from cards which have expired or cards where the data has been masked, simply because the theft goes back so far that cards used then would not still be used now. This will result in at least three quarters of the cards data being safe.
The company has also reported to the BBC that 100 files are known to have been moved, in a theft that too place in 2003 from the big UK computer system. Apparently two more files have since gone missing. This news comes at a time when the company has admitted that the theft was only discovered three months ago, but had held that news for four weeks before announcing it.
Yet if this theft took place four years ago, why has it not been brought to public attention sooner? The idea may be that it is because some many cards used at the time will now have expired, there seems, according to the company, little for customers to worry about.
"There is a lot of information we don't know, and may never be able to know, which is why this investigation has been so laborious," spokeswoman Sherry Lang said.
It is known that the data was accessed on the UK company systems in Watford, Hertfordshire, and then in the US in Massachusetts over a 16-month period from July 2005 and covers all transactions made by credit or debit card going back to December 2002.
Ms Lang continued to say that if any customers have found themselves to be victims of fraud, they can immediately advise their bank and have their stolen money refunded.
An investigation continues...
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