Neiman Marcus Says Customer Credit Card Data May Have Been Stolen

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Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Jan. 11 2014 1:26 PM

Neiman Marcus Says Customer Credit Card Data May Have Been Stolen

180143078-the-exterior-of-a-neiman-marcus-store-is-seen-on
The exterior of a Neiman Marcus store is seen on September 9, 2013 in Coral Gables, Florida

Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Another retailer was hacked over the holiday shopping season. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus says some of its customers credit cards may have been compromised although it failed to detail the extent of the potential hack, reports NBC News. Neiman Marcus was alerted to the potential data breach in mid-December and the department store said it is investigating the matter. A spokeswoman said the company had been the victim of “a criminal cyber-intrusion” and since then has taken steps to boost security. It still isn’t clear how many customers were affected but the U.S. Secret Service is investigating the issue.

Word of the Neiman Marcus woes came as Target revealed that its holiday data breach was even larger than it had previously said,  affecting up to 70 million people. Previously the company had said 40 million credit and debit card accounts had been affected. The latest data to have been potentially stolen may have affected anyone who has provided basic information to the company in recent years, including name, mailing addresses, phone numbers, and e-mail address. Even if the stolen data didn’t include credit card numbers, there’s concern the information could be exploited by thieves to try to get customers to reveal more information or help unlock other parts of someone’s online identity, notes the Wall Street Journal.

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The two high-profile data breaches are bound to increase concern by customers about the safety of their information and is a stark reminder of how the United States lags behind other countries in how it secures personal financial information. “Many nations have done away with the magnetic strips still used in the U.S. and moved to chips embedded in the cards that are harder to compromise,” notes Bloomberg.  The U.S. payments industry has said it will replace magnetic strips by 2020.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.

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