Kmart stores se­cu­rity com­pro­mised

SP's MAI - - INTERNAL SECURITY BREACHES -

Sears said it was the vic­tim of a cy­ber at­tack that likely re­sulted in the theft of some cus­tomer pay­ment cards at its Kmart stores, the lat­est in a se­ries of com­puter se­cu­rity breaches to hit US com­pa­nies and deal­ing a fresh blow to the strug­gling US re­tailer. The US Se­cret Ser­vice con­firmed it was in­ves­ti­gat­ing the breach, which oc­curred in Septem­ber and com­pro­mised the sys­tems of Kmart, which has about 1,200 stores across the United States. The breach did not af­fect the Sears depart­ment store chain.

A Sears spokesman said he could not say how many credit and debit card num­bers had been taken. He added that the per­sonal in­for­ma­tion, debit card PIN num­bers, e-mail ad­dresses and so­cial se­cu­rity num­bers of its cus­tomers re­mained safe.

Se­cu­rity pro­fes­sion­als said they were not sur­prised to learn that yet another ma­jor re­tailer was re­port­ing a breach, adding they be­lieve many big mer­chants do not have ad­e­quate sys­tems for de­tect­ing cy­ber at­tacks, which means they still re­main easy prey for hack­ers.

“This is go­ing to con­tinue in­def­i­nitely un­til peo­ple change their prac­tices,” said Shawn Henry, a for­mer se­nior cy­ber cop with the FBI who is now of the pres­i­dent of cy­ber foren­sics firm Crowd-Strike Ser­vices. Se­cu­rity ex­perts say re­tail­ers have tra­di­tion­ally not in­vested enough in se­cu­rity, partly be­cause of the in­dus­try’s rel­a­tively thin profit mar­gins.

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