updated 06:59 pm EDT, Thu April 17, 2014
2.6 million transaction details leaked over nine-month hack
Craft store chain Michael's Stores and affiliated Aaron Brothers has confirmed details of a massive security breach between May 8, 2013 and January 27 of this year. The analysis conducted by the company shows that approximately 2.6 million cards may have been impacted, which represents about seven percent of payment cards used at Michael's stores in the US during the time period.
In January, the company learned of possible fraudulent activity on some US payment cards that had been used at Michaels stores. Since the announcement, Michael's retained two independent security firms to conduct an investigation. The company also claims to have been working with law enforcement authorities and coordinating with banks and payment processors to determine the facts behind the hack.
The affected systems contained certain payment card information, such as payment card number and expiration date, from both Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers. Michael's is claiming that other customer personal information, such as name, address, or card PIN, was at risk in connection with this data breach.
The company has provided data about potentially-affected payment cards to the relevant card brands so they can take appropriate action. While Michael's claims to have only received limited reports of fraud as a result of the extensive and long-lasting data breach, it is offering identity protection, credit monitoring and fraud assistance services to affected Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers in the US for 12 months at no cost.