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Debit-card data stolen in breach of retailer
Published: 2006-02-11

Investigators have traced a recent rash of fraudulent debit-card transactions across the globe to the theft of as many as 200,000 debit records from an office-supply store in California, according to media reports.

Both Washington Mutual and the Bank of America have canceled customers' debit cards because of the breach, but neither bank has disclosed the name of the retailer, except to say it is a big-box store, the reports stated. The fraudulent activity may be related to a consumer fraud alert issued in the Sacramento area last November, the report in stated.

The incident is the latest data breach to make the news this year, after a stunning number of problems in 2005. Earlier this month, two Massachusetts newspapers owned by the New York Times inadvertently released the banking and credit card information for as many as 202,000 customers.

And, at the end of January, the government of Rhode Island reportedly said that Russian data thieves had nabbed tens of thousands of credit-card transactions from the state government's Web site, while Seattle-based Providence Home Services apparently acknowledged that backup tapes containing 365,000 patient records in the states of Washington and Oregon had been stolen from an employee's car.

Posted by: Robert Lemos
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