Kmart Offers Credit Monitoring to Customers After Security Breach

In Reports, What's New, Industry News by Jeff Prine

KMart21Hoffman Estates, IL—As if Sears Holdings Corp. doesn’t have enough trouble recently. On Friday, the retailer announced that its Kmart division recently suffered a security breach.

To help stem any repercussions with their customers like Target suffered last year, Kmart said it will offer customers free credit card monitoring as the hacking breach is investigated.

The Sears Holdings IT team identified the breach on Oct. 9 and is working with a security firm to assess the attack, which happened in early September, Kmart said in an Oct. 10 filing. Customer payment-card information was probably exposed by the attack.

“According to the security experts Kmart has been working with, the Kmart store payment data systems were infected with a form of malware that was undetectable by current anti-virus systems,” the company said in the filing. “Kmart was able to quickly remove the malware. However, Kmart believes certain debit and credit card numbers have been compromised.”

The Kmart breach is just the latest in series that included Home Depot, Target, Neiman Marcus Group and TJX.

Concerns about cyber intrusions have escalated after even JP Morgan Chase disclosed that an attack by hackers exposed contact information of 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.

Kmart’s credit-monitoring offer extends to everyone who used a credit or debit card at Kmart stores in September through Oct. 9, the company said in an Oct. 10 statement.

Kmart said in the statement that it’s working closely with “federal law enforcement authorities, banking partners and IT security firms in the ongoing investigation and is deploying further advanced software to protect customers’ information.”

So far, it is not clear how many cards and customers have been affected.

In its statement, Kmart said no personal information; pin codes, email addresses or social security numbers were taken with the card numbers.

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