After Home Depot (NYSE:HD) Kmart is the latest victim of a security breach
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Kmart has confirmed that their system was hacked by unidentified hackers, and it went on for one whole month. Starting from September 9, hackers gained access to the Kmart system and stole credit and debit card data from the databases. Kmart claims that no social security numbers, personal information, debit card PIN numbers were bagged by the hackers, based on the forensic evidence. But that can be a face saving statement. Kmart will be offering free credit monitoring protection to those customers who shopped during that time period till now.
Kmart claims that the malware was an advanced form of the usual malware used by hackers but it has been subjugated by its security team. Kmart spokesman do believe that credit might have been stolen because this malware slipped in undetected by their anti malware program. Kmart has assured the customers that the breach has been dealt with and Kmart is helping the authorities in every way to apprehend whoever was involved.
Retail breaches have risen in the past year. Since last December, millions of accounts have been hacked, debit card data and credit data stolen- millions of customers affected. That is why banks were reissuing debit cards and credit cards by large numbers. Only last month, Home depot reported 56 million accounts being breached by hackers. It was considered the largest security breach in the history of retail stores.
This year has been dominated by security breaches, especially Apple’s iCloud breach which gained a lot of negative attention from the media, because of the nature of the news. Many celebrities were affected and they are still fighting in court. Google wasn’t spared either and was a victim of a breach that was large in numbers, and it leaked out millions of Gmail account information in Russia. By the time Google came to know about it, the leak had become public information.
Kmart has a steady reputation of having family stores that are comfortable to shop in and tend to everyone’s needs. With a security breach, they have taken a huge blotch on their reputation. They can’t really be held accountable however, except for the fact that why was the breach unnoticed for one whole month?
It’s also time people get rid of the redundant credit card and debit card system altogether as it’s extremely prone to security breaches. It’s time people adopt systems like Apple Pay which is more secure and transparent. One good thing Kmart can do now is to get hold of the person who was involved, and compensate the people who are affected in any way they can. Another thing would be to rebuild the trust that it has probably lost among its customers.
Kmart has asked its customers to review their credit and debit card account statements. Kmart is being extra cautious and is subtly telling its customers that they should be more aware now as cyber crime has evolved and it’s not really easy to intercept a security breach right away.