Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Are the Arrests in the Debit Card Case the Beginning of More to Come

Greg Sandoval of CNet is reporting:

Law enforcement officials in New Jersey have arrested 14 people in connection with a crime spree that has forced banks across the nation to replace hundreds of thousands of debit cards.

The suspects, all U.S. citizens, are accused of using stolen credit and debit card information to produce counterfeit cards that were used to make fraudulent purchases and withdrawals from card-holder accounts, Hudson County Prosecutor Edward DeFazio said. Most of the arrests were made during the past two weeks."

Some of the stolen credit card information came from the office-supply chain OfficeMax and other businesses, DeFazio told CNET on Monday. "We had cooperation from the security people from many victimized businesses," he said.

Credit-card issuers Visa and MasterCard have blamed a growing number of thefts from debit-card holder accounts--in areas ranging from San Francisco to Boston--on a security breach suffered by a merchant, but they've refused to identify the company.

Here is the full story from CNet:

Prosecutor: Debit card crime ring busted

This might be good news, but it's being announced by local authorities. This case has ties from coast to coast and the cloned cards have been used worldwide. I would speculate that there is more to come, or that one part of a group has been caught.

All through this case, it seems that many of the companies, who were breached were slow to notify their customers. There is likely to be a political backlash. Reuters reported recently that:

House panel to consider data security bill

The bottom line is that the common person needs to be taken into consideration when corporations lose their personal information.

Based on what I have been reading, there are a lot of frustrated people out there affected in this breach. From the beginning, the notifications to victims were slow in coming and even today, no one is admitting where the actual point of compromise was.

Boing Boing and the Consumerist have done an excellent job of getting out the view of the victim in many of their posts. For some personal views of how people are feeling out there, I highly recommend reading their material.

Here is a previous post, I did on Debit Card Breaches, A Growing Problem.

Some arrests have been made, but I doubt the issue has been resolved.

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