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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 20, 2005
McKenna Calls for CardSystems to Provide Details on Security Breach


SEATTLE – Concerned about the recently reported security breach at CardSystems, Inc., Attorney General Rob McKenna is requesting that the company provide information about affected Washington consumers.

“Remedial steps must be taken immediately to minimize risk to consumers,” McKenna said.

MasterCard International, Inc. announced the breach Friday and said it was traced to Atlanta-based CardSystems, which processes credit card and other payments for banks and merchants. Hackers installed a rogue computer program that extracts data, potentially compromising 40 million accounts from MasterCard, Visa and other card issuers. Records on roughly 200,000 accounts were apparently stolen, according to news reports, but not social security numbers or birth dates.

McKenna sent a letter today to CardSystems seeking details about how the breach occurred and how many Washington consumers were affected. The letter also asks what steps the company is taking to notify consumers and how it plans to prevent future security breaches. McKenna asked that the information be provided by June 30.

“The breach that occurred at CardSystems is the latest in a disturbing series of cases affecting valuable consumer financial data,” McKenna said. “These events have pushed privacy matters to the top of the public policy agenda. I look forward to working with the financial industry, consumer advocates and law enforcement to determine what, if any, legal and regulatory changes are needed to protect consumer information and reduce the risk of fraud.”

McKenna said consumers should examine their account statements for suspicious activity. They can also request an annual free copy of their credit report online at www.annualcreditreport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228.
Tips on protecting your personal information and what to do if you become a victim of identity theft are available from the Federal Trade Commission and the Attorney General’s Office:

A copy of the letter sent by McKenna to Linda P. Ford of CardSystems, Inc. can be viewed here.

FTC's ID Theft Hotline: 1-877-ID-THEFT (877-438-4338), www.ftc.gov/idtheft

Attorney General's Office Consumer Protection Division: 800-551-4636, or Online.

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For more information contact:
Kristin Alexander, (206) 464-6432, KristinA1@atg.wa.gov

 

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