Breaking: MasterCard and VISA suffer apparent processor breach

A quick heads up that MasterCard and Visa have apparently suffered a serious processor breach. We're working on a more detailed analysis for later today, but here's what we're seeing so far...

Security journalist extraordinaire Brian Krebs is the first to throw up the red flag, writing in his Krebs On Security blog that  the credit card giants are alerting banks across the country about "a recent major breach at a U.S.-based credit card processor. Sources in the financial sector are calling the breach “massive,” and say it may involve more than 10 million compromised card numbers."

Krebs continues: "In separate non-public alerts sent late last week, VISA and MasterCard began warning banks about specific cards that may have been compromised. The card associations stated that the breached credit card processor was compromised between Jan. 21, 2012 and Feb. 25, 2012. The alerts also said that full Track 1 and Track 2 data was taken – meaning that the information could be used to counterfeit new cards."

He added: "On Wednesday, PSCU — a provider of online financial services to credit unions — said it alerted 482 credit unions that appear to have had cards impacted by the breach, and that a total of 56,455 member VISA and MasterCard accounts were compromised. PSCU said fraudulent activity had been detected on a relatively small number of those cards — 876 accounts — and that the activity was geographically dispersed."

More details as they come, folks.

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