Michael??s is the latest national chain store to suffer a data breach due to a sophisticated cyber-attack using malware or software that can be used to collect private information.
Since January of this year, Michael??s the nation??s largest arts and crafts chain and their subsidiary Aaron Brothers have been investigating a data incident. This follows major data breaches at Target and Nieman Marcus Stores in the past few month. CEO Chuck Rubin says the attack may have scraped information from approximately 3 million credit cards. Some customers who shopped at certain stores between May 8th 2013 and January 27th 2014 may have been affected.
A computer expert from Cat-man-du in Canyon says one bad click at a big company can lead to a cyber-attack that leaks a lot of sensitive financial information.
??Malware is the most common that's basically a virus. It comes up as a pop up like you would get on any computer,?? said Garrett Eggleston from Cat-man-du. ??Somebody accidently clicks on the wrong thing or intentionally clicks the wrong thing and it happens to be that virus in which case somebody has the information that they want.??
Happy State Bank says that they're handling the uptick in data security breaches, and that they??re working to reissue cards as fast as they can when data breaches occur.
??We reissue cards for data breaches?? said Greg Houlette from Happy State Bank.?? We reissued 1% of our card base in 2012, 15% in 2013, and this year we're running 18%.
The retail chain is now assuring its customers that the store??s data systems are not currently compromised. Some Michael??s shoppers believe that data leaks are becoming a common occurrence, and that these breaches will not discourage them from their daily shopping.
"It really doesn't matter where I shop,?? said local artist Valerie Weiners, a local artist who was walking into Michael??s in Amarillo this afternoon. ??They can go anywhere that would be like refusing to shop anywhere because someone can get a hold of your information."