Saturday, June 11, 2011

Citigroup credit card security breached

Citigroup / Citibank acknowledged that names, account numbers and email addresses of 200,000 of its credit card customers were stolen. What you may think is confidential information may not be.

An AP report noted: The relatively small number of accounts taken from Citi, which has 21 million credit card customers in North America, suggests the hackers used spyware that captured the data of customers who logged in to its website to conduct online banking, one expert says.

ABCNews observed: While the bank said information like social security numbers, card security codes and birth dates were not exposed, customers may wonder if secure online banking really exists.

The ABC story concluded: While legislators are pushing for legislation to penalize institutions that expose customer information through data breaches, Andrew Hoog said it may take years for laws to pass. And it is unclear how rigorously they may be enforced.

"If regulation was designed properly, that would be wonderful," Hoog said. "But it would be far better if the consumer demanded it. Businesses may listen if consumers said, 'We're going to leave your bank and find someone else because there are other banks that are more secure.'"

Zippycart reported: What may be even more unsettling is that Citibank knew about the breach about a month ago and failed to act until their account holders started reporting their transactions being declined. They are currently contacting any account holder whose information was compromised.

[As an observation, LBE was applying for a bank card, and the person taking the confidential information knew nothing about the Citibank breach.]


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