Visa & MasterCard: Equifax hacked – 200k credit cards could be compromised
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Visa & MasterCard: Equifax hacked – 200k credit cards could be compromised

Visa and MasterCard have sent out confidential alerts to hundreds of thousands of customers across the U.S. who may have had their credit cards compromised. The fault is not on either company’s part, but rather comes from a hack at Equifax, a credit-referencing firm.

The two cashless transaction providers are moving quickly to address the threat posed to their customers, and have advised that the “window for exposure” to cybercrime is between 10 November 2016 and 6 July 2017. Allegedly, up to 200,000 cards could be compromised, with the criminals gaining enough information to make online purchases.

Visa and MasterCard’s share prices are both soaring in 2017 so far

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SOURCE: Yahoo Finance

Equifax has come under significant criticism since 7 September, when it admitted that its systems were breached. The company reports that the personal details of up to 143 million U.S. consumers were vulnerable to hackers. Unsurprisingly, multiple lawsuits and a probe by the FTC are on the table – though thankfully for Visa and MasterCard, they are as much the victims of Equifax’s shortcomings as everyone else.

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the breach “one of the most egregious examples of corporate malfeasance since Enron,” and Senator Elizabeth Warren has introduced legislation to protect consumer information from credit companies.

A small number of UK consumers may also have been affected – Equifax says fewer than 400,000. Ironically, this disaster may actually reflect well on Visa and MasterCard – it demonstrates in no uncertain terms that the high tech security measures the companies want to develop (including things like facial recognition) might be key to our future finances.

Disclosure

Dominion holds Visa and MasterCard in its Global Trends Ecommerce Fund.


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