Top 6 Payment Card Data Breaches of 2016

A large amount of data breaches have taken place throughout 2016, some of which were organized by criminals looking to collect sensitive payment data. Credit and debit card details were stolen from various companies and platforms, causing a lot of financial damage. We have sought out some of the most notorious payment card data breaches of 2016.

#6 Cici’s Pizza

The attack against the Cici’s Pizza chain was quite newsworthy, considering over 130 locations were affected in the process. Criminals used malware to gain unauthorized access to POS devices, and steal payment card information. To this date, it remains unclear how many payment records were affected by this massive breach, but the company has received a fair few complaints since March of 2016.

#5 Wendy’s

Fast food chains are a popular target for criminals looking to obtain credit and debit card information. Over 1,000 Wendy’s locations were affected by a large-scale data breach in 2016. Similarly to what happened to Cici’s Pizza, malware was deployed to infect point of sale devices. The investigation shifted into higher gear in 2016, even though it turned out the malware has been present since the fall of 2015.

#4 Standard Bank Group

This South African bank was affected by a major theft of US$13m when criminals obtained details of 1,600 cards. Card information included all details, including the PIN code. Criminals embossed this information on blank plastic cards and cashed them out through various bank teller machines located in Japan. Up until this point, there is still no trace of who was behind this attack or how the criminals obtained all of this sensitive information without anyone noticing.

#3 Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants

More than 62 Kimpton Hotels and Restaurant locations were targeted in a large-scale malware attack in 2016. Point-of-sale systems were infected with this malicious software, allowing criminals to collect payment card information. This data breach occurred between February and July of 2016. No specific details were provided related to the number of affected cardholders at this time.

#2 Rosen Hotels & Resorts

The hotel sector is a valuable target for criminals, as these locations a large amount of credit card information on a daily basis. In February of 2016, the Rosen Hotels & Resorts chain received reports regarding unauthorized charges to customers’ payment cards. Once again, malware was deployed across POS systems to steal information by reading the card’s magnetic stripe. Unfortunately, an investigation revealed the malware had been present since September 2014 and was removed in February of 2016.

#1 India’s National Payment Corporation

Several million debit cards linked to 19 different Indian financial institutions were obtained by hackers in 2016. The State Bank of India was forced to block 600,000 payment cards in October of 2016 due to fraudulent transactions. Interestingly enough, the majority of fraudulent transactions took place in India and the United States. For now, it remains unclear as to how this data breach was even possible to begin with.

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