Hackers Breach Global Payments Network
Credit card payments processing company Global Payments announced last Friday that there was “unauthorized access into a portion of its processing system.” The company identified the problem and reported the situation to authorities, prompting the US Secret Service to launch an investigation. Rumors of the breach caused the company’s stocks to spiral, plunging 9.06 percent to $47.50 by midday, until trading was immediately closed to stop the stock from crashing. The company confirmed the news after the market closed.
Global Payments said they noticed the breach in early March, and they immediately hired information technology forensics people to find out how much of their processing system was compromised and they informed the US federal authorities as well.
The company promptly notified appropriate industry parties to allow them to minimize potential cardholder impact. The company is continuing its investigation into this matter.
Although the company has not disclosed further details, estimates say around 50,000 accounts may have been affected. Global Payments Chairman and CEO Paul Garcia highlighted his company’s security system prevented further loss of account information to the hackers.
It is reassuring that our security processes detected an intrusion. It is crucial to understand that this incident does not involve our merchants or their relationships with their customers.
As one of the leading payments processing company in the world, Global Payments acts as the middle man for banks and merchants. When your card gets swiped on a point-of-sale machine (POS), a payment processing company (such as Global Payments) forwards the transaction request to Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover, who then contact the issuing bank for approvals.