One of the largest liquor store chains in Texas, Houston-based Spec’s, has reported a security breach that exposed personal information of customers at 34 of its smaller locations or approximately 5% of their retail locations. Data on customer credit cards, bank accounts, and personal information were at risk of being stolen in the attack are from the following locations: Baytown, Bryan, College Station, Conroe, Corpus Christi, Cypress, El Paso, Houston, Kingwood, Sugar Land, and The Woodlands. If you have shopped at any of these location, we would recommend you check with this link from specs for any followup actions as the company is offering a free year of credit monitoring and identity-theft protection to customers who may have been affected (http://www.specsonline.com/pages.htm).
Malicious actors have actively been harvesting sensitive data from Spec’s systems for well over a full year before they were detected, according to sources. The breach reportedly exposed data from Oct. 31, 2012, through March 20, 2014, and could included information (Security Codes) from checks, credit and debit cards. The “security codes” apparently included customer Personal Identification Numbers, which are the digits that debit card users must enter. Specs give customers discounts for using cash and debit cards, they pay full price if they use a credit card.
The breaches that have taken place so far this year (Target, Neiman Marcus, Michaels, Holiday Inn, Marriot) , should cause all users of POS systems to be mindful of their own data security practices and highlight the importance of monitoring live log and threat data.
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