Some Bramptonians’ personal information may be at risk after a major discount store at Bramalea City Centre was hit by a data breach where thousands of credit and debit cards were reportedly sold on the dark web.
Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC) said in a statement this weekend that it “recently became aware of a data security issue involving customer payment card data at certain Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH, and Lord & Taylor stores in North America.”
New York-based cybersecurity company Gemini Advisory LLC released more information in its analysis of the breach. According to Gemini, three Canadian Saks OFF 5TH stores were affected, and one of them is located at Bramalea City Centre (BCC). The other two are located at Sherway Gardens in Toronto and Pickering Town Centre in Pickering.
Gemini reports that over five million stolen payment cards have been offered for sale on the dark web.
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“Several large financial institutions have confirmed that all tested records had been used before at Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks OFF 5TH, a discounted offset brand of luxury Saks Fifth Avenue stores, as well as Lord & Taylor stores,” said Gemini in its report.
According to Gemini, “the preliminary analysis suggests that criminals were siphoning the information between May 2017 to present.”
A total of 83 Saks Fifth Avenue locations and and the whole network of Lord & Taylor stores have been compromised across North America.
“With the declared number of compromised payment cards being in excess of five million, the current hacking attack is amongst the biggest and most damaging to ever hit retail companies,” said Gemini.
Of the reported five million, Gemini says that 125,000 stolen cards have been offered for sale.
According to HBC, the company has taken steps to contain the breach.
“We identified the issue, tooks steps to contain it, and believe it no longer poses a risk to customers shopping at our stores,” said HBC. “While the investigation is ongoing, there is no indication at this time that this affects out e-commerce or other digital platforms, Hudson’s Bay, Home Outfitters, or HBC Europe.”
HBC says it is working with data security investigators, law enforcement authorities, and payment card companies to investigate the breach.
HBC is encouraging anyone who may have shopped at these stores to monitor their account statements, and the company says it’s notifying its customers “quickly.”
Anyone who might have been affected will get free identity protection services including credit and web monitoring, says HBC.
If you do see an unauthorized charge that you don’t recognize, you’re advised to contact your financial institution immediately.