Yet another database break-in by thieves in the u.s

over 100.000 credit card details were presumably stolen by crackers

This time it involves a chain of shoe stores. DSW Shoe Warehouse was alerted to suspected activity by a credit card company and reported the incident on 4. March of the police. However, the customers were apparently not identified until 8. The parent company, Retail Ventures, informed the company of the incident on March. Credit card companies and banks have been informed, and customers are being asked to keep a close eye on their credit card accounts.

It is still unknown how the thieves got into the database, in which customer data of 103 of the 175 stores were stored. The Secret Service is trying to figure this out. The exact number of customers affected is not yet known, but the Secret Service believes that "Hundreds of thousands" from. The fact that the company did not notice the burglary itself suggests insufficient security precautions. Customers who have made a purchase from the chain in the last few months were affected.

The prosecutor has asked the company to notify and warn customers directly about the incident. But this apparently cannot be done. Retail Ventures’ legal counsel explained: that the credit card companies and banks had the account data and addresses: "They were not allowed to give us this information."

The rising number of identity theft cases, most recently involving U.S. companies Seisint and ChoicePoint and Bank of America, could also hurt e-commerce in the long run, prompt distrust of government and commercial databases that collect more and more personal data from citizens, and lead to calls for stronger privacy protections. After all, the thefts are mass thefts of personal data, often involving hundreds of thousands of people at a time. ChoicePoint, for example, allowed months to pass before notifying customers.

But first, the U.S. is likely to introduce new legislation to better protect personal data and force companies to report the theft. For example, the Senate Banking Committee has just addressed the ie of identity theft. There will be stiff penalties for information brokers who do not adequately protect data. Presumably, companies will also be required to notify customers immediately in the event of an incident. There are also discussions about the security standards that companies must comply with.

In today’s markets, consumers routinely provide personal and financial identifiers to companies engaged in business on the Internet. They may not realize that the information they provide in credit card applications, loan applications, or with merchants they patronize is a valuable commodity in this new age of information trading. Consumers may be even less aware of the illegitimate uses to which this information can be put. This wealth of available personal information creates a target-rich environment for today’s sophisticated criminals, many of whom are organized and operate across international borders.

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