Citibank Hacked: 200.000 Credit Card Numbers Stolen, May Affect 20 Million Customers

Citigroup Inc says computer hackers has breached the bank‘s network and accessed the data of about 200.000 bank card holders in North America, the latest of a string of cyber attacks on high-profile companies. The data theft may affect more than 20 million customers.  How many incidents like this do we need before the industry and it’s regulators realize what we’re up against?

“For the security of these customers, we are not disclosing further details.”

Sean Kevelighan

According to Financial Times did the data theft happen in early May this year. And like Sony, Citigroup have not bothered to tell their customers and the public about it before now – about a month later. Well, Nasdaq Stock Exchange waited a whole year before they told their customers that their computer system had been compromised….

Citigroup – once the largest financial firm in the world – says the names of customers, account numbers and contact information, including email addresses, were viewed in the breach, Reuters writes.

However, the bank points out that other information such as birth dates, social security numbers, card expiration dates and card security codes (CVV) were not compromised.

“We are contacting customers whose information was impacted. Citi has implemented enhanced procedures to prevent a recurrence of this type of event,” Sean Kevelighan, a US-based spokesman, says in an email.

“For the security of these customers, we are not disclosing further details.”

In the brief email statement, Citi do not say how the breach has occurred.

Very comforting, indeed.

Reuters also quote another Citi spokesman, James Griffiths in Hong Kong, saying that the breach has affected 1 percent of North American card customers, which the bank’s annual report totals 21 million.

So, what is it? 200.000 or 20 million? It kinda makes a little difference, don’t you think?

And like the Japanese electronics and entertainment group Sony, which declared several security breaches of its networks earlier this year, Citi might come under fire for not telling customers sooner.

“It may be the bank’s business, but it’s the consumer’s personal information so consumers deserve to be told about security breaches immediately,” Dan Simpson, a spokesman for Australia’s Consumer Action Law Center, an advocacy group, says in a comment.

“It’s hard to see any reason why this sort of breach couldn’t have been disclosed much sooner.”

Read the full story at Reuters.

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13 responses to “Citibank Hacked: 200.000 Credit Card Numbers Stolen, May Affect 20 Million Customers

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