B&N: PIN pad tampering was "sophisticated" crime

October 24, 2012

(AP)—Barnes & Noble Inc. said Wednesday the tampering of devices used by customers to swipe credit and debit cards in 63 of its stores was a "sophisticated criminal effort" to steal information, and reiterated it's working with federal law enforcement authorities.

The largest U.S. bookseller late Tuesday disclosed the data breach in stores in California, Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island, and warned customers to check for unauthorized transactions and to change their personal identification numbers, or PINs.

B&N said only one device, or PIN pad, was tampered with in each store, affecting less than 1 percent of these devices in its stores. It released a complete list of locations that were affected. All the PIN pads in its nearly 700 stores nationwide were disconnected on Sept. 14, after the company learned of the tampering.

In a press release issued Wednesday, B&N said the criminals planted bugs in the tampered devices, allowing for the capture of credit card and PIN numbers. The company did not offer a timeline for when the bugs were planted or how long they were in use before they were discovered.

B&N said that it's continuing to work with federal law enforcement and with banks, payment card brands and issuers to identify accounts that may have been compromised, so that additional fraud-protection measures can be taken.

Customers at its book stores will now have to ask cashiers to swipe credit or debit cards on card readers connected to cash registers, a process that is secure, Barnes & Noble said.

Anything bought on Barnes & Noble.com or with the chain's Nook devices and app were not affected, the company said. It also said its customer database is secure.

Barnes & Noble is only the latest major retailer to be a victim of a serious data breach. In one of the largest, more than 45 million credit and debit cards were exposed to possible fraud because of hackers who broke into the computer system of TJX Cos., the parent company of retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, starting in 2005.

Explore further: TJX reaches settlement with states on data theft


Related Stories

TJX reaches settlement with states on data theft

June 23, 2009

(AP) -- Discount retailer TJX Cos. said Tuesday it has reached a settlement with multiple states related to a massive data theft that occurred at the parent company of retailers T.J. Maxx and Marshall's a few years ago.

Citigroup says 360,000 affected by hackers

June 16, 2011

Hackers stole account information of more than 360,000 of Citigroup Inc.'s U.S. credit card customers in a recent data breach, the bank said Wednesday, almost double the number initially thought.

Barnes & Noble unveils $199 Nook Tablet

February 21, 2012

US bookseller Barnes & Noble unveiled a new version of its Nook tablet computer Tuesday, a device with the same $199 price tag as Amazon's Kindle Fire.

Data breach put 1.5M numbers at risk

April 2, 2012

(AP) -- A company that processes credit card transactions said Monday that as many as 1.5 million card numbers were compromised in a data breach early last month.

Recommended for you

Toyota promises better mileage and ride with Prius hybrid

October 13, 2015

Toyota Motor Corp. released details for its fourth-generation Prius on Tuesday, promising that improvements in the battery, engine, wind resistance and weight mean better mileage for the world's top-selling hybrid car.

Facebook to test mobile app shopping tab

October 12, 2015

Facebook said Monday that it will begin testing a shopping tab for its mobile app as it works to ramp up advertising and online commerce offerings.


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.