Digital privacy shouldn’t be put on the back burner just because you’re traveling abroad. Below, you’ll find a …
Earlier this month, cybersecurity firm Gemini Advisory reported that a group called Fin7 (aka Jokerstash) had hacked a number of high-end retail stores. The group was now planning to sell the information from five million credit and debit cards on the dark web. The stores in question were Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor.
According to the Gemini Advisory, Fin7 started its retail hacking as far back as May 2017, although they could not be certain of the exact window of time when the ultimate breach was made.
Which store were affected?
By analyzing all the available data on the incident, Gemini Advisory was able to confirm that all Lord & Taylor stores (51 in total) and 83 Saks Fifth Avenue stores in the U.S. were compromised, with a majority of card information stolen from stores in New York and New Jersey. Three locations in Ontario, Canada, might have also been breached.
Gemini Advisory listed the following Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor stores as the ones which were most exposed.
- Saks Fifth Avenue locations
- The Outlets at Bergen Town Center (Paramus, NJ 07652)
- The Gallery at Westbury (Garden City, NY 11530)
- King of Prussia (King of Prussia, PA 19406)
- Bridgewater (Bridgewater, NJ 08807)
- Braintree (Braintree, MA 02184)
- Lord & Taylor locations
- Fifth Avenue (New York, NY 10018)
- Garden State Plaza (Paramus, NJ 07652)
- Eastchester (Scarsdale, NY 10853)
- Garden City (Garden City NY 11530)
- Freehold Raceway Mall (Freehold, NJ 07728)
- Canada locations (potential breach)
- Sherway Gardens (Toronto, ON M9C 1B8)
- Pickering Town Center (Pickering, ON L1V 1B8)
- Bramalea City Centre (Brampton, ON L6T 3R5)
When Gemini Advisory released their report, there were only a total of 125,000 cards being offered for sale by Fin7. However, the cybersecurity firm expects that the remaining card information will be released in the next few months.
Hudson’s Bay confirms the incident
Hudson’s Bay, the parent company of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor, released their official statement regarding the incident on the same day after learning of Gemini Advisory’s report.
In the statement, Hudson’s Bay said they had already taken the necessary countermeasures to contain the breach. However, they did not elaborate as to whether they were successful in securing their network. They also stated that the credit card and debit card breach involved those used in stores, so online purchases at Saks and Lord & Taylor were not affected.
The company declined to say more until they’d completed a thorough investigation, but they did say that customers impacted by the breach would not be held liable for the resulting fraudulent transactions. In addition, they would be providing these customers free identity protection and monitoring services.
If you’re a regular shopper at these stores, especially in the top hit locations stated above, be sure to keep a close eye on your bank statements and credit reports over the next few months. If you see anything that looks suspicious, report it immediately.
While you can’t protect yourself against corporate breaches such as this, you can do everything in your power to protect your sensitive data on your own personal devices. Always use a Virtual Private Network (or VPN) when connecting to unsecured free WiFi—like at an airport, coffee shop, or hotel—where your data is most vulnerable to hackers. Hotspot Shield will encrypt your data, thereby ensuring that criminals won’t be able to intercept your web traffic.