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MasterCard: Open Book For ID Theft

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The folks at MasterCard have brought the public some brilliant and entertaining commercial over the years. It’s even become a point of pop culture as every does their spin on the “priceless” theme they’ve had in place. MasterCard announced their security was compromised in the form of 40 million customers who’re now open to ID theft from MasterCard. Priceless isn’t the word I’d use for this one.

The problem, according to MasterCard lies with one of their third-party credit card processing companies they use. CardSystems Solutions based out of Atlanta has presented the public with a valid solution; tear up its credit cards. This breach of security to the tune of 40 million customers stretches over several brands and labels of the credit card giant.

MasterCard said that a Tucson, Arizona office was hacked and someone managed to swipe all those names. Most information wasn’t gleaned but the card number itself as well as the 3 digit security number on the back of the card was swiped. Generally, if you have both of those, it would allow the perps to have fun for a little while. CardSystems Solutions runs transactions for all the big credit card companies like American Express, Visa, Discover and MasterCard.

This just the latest in a series of major security breaches by big corporations and financial institutions. As society moves deeper and deeper into the electronic age, this problem will continue to happen over and over again until banks really take this problem much more seriously. Citicorp sent their unencrypted data tapes to the Experian credit bureau down in Texas. The tapes never made it. They were lost. Look at what brown did for them. The problem though is that the data was unencrypted. A little know how from some hack will have access to complete credit information for about 3.9 million people.

It seems every week, another major security breach happens as someone else loses the information for a few million customers. This process proceeds to wreak havoc on consumers and businesses alike that’ve chosen these various institutions. Insurance rates go up for banks. People’s accounts get screwed up as their debit cards get abused. They pay late check fees, late bill fees, reconnect fees for utilities and everything else.

Confidence in the banking system is essential to the structure of both the U.S. and the world economy and now some malicious computer geeks, who everyone thought was going to crack into NORAD and raise everything to DEFCON 10 have done worse. They slowly erode at people’s trust in their tools to exist like credit cards and banks. At least with a good old-fashioned bank heist, just one bank is really affected. Some may say these are victimless crimes but that’s not true is it. Sometimes people spend months and years to correct the problems of identity theft.

The banks are spending a lot of money attempting to fix these problems but they need to work a little harder. They’ve got unlimited sources of money to fix their problems, the consumers don’t.

John Stith is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

MasterCard: Open Book For ID Theft
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