Staples, Inc. has confirmed a recent data breach and released an update on the investigation on what it termed a data security incident involving a small percentage of its retail point-of-sale systems. Overall, the company believes that approximately 1.16 million payment cards may have been affected.
Staples reported that its data security experts detected that criminals deployed malware to some point-of-sale systems at 115 of its more than 1,400 U.S. retail stores. Upon detection, Staples said it immediately took action to eradicate the malware in mid-September and to further enhance its point-of-sale security including new encryption tools. Staples also retained outside data security experts to investigate the incident and has worked closely with payment card companies and law enforcement.
Based on its investigation, Staples stated that it believes that malware may have allowed access to some transaction data at affected stores, including cardholder names, payment card numbers, expiration dates, and card verification codes. At 113 stores, the malware may have allowed access to this data for purchases made from August 10, 2014 through September 16, 2014. At two stores, the malware may have allowed access to data from purchases made from July 20, 2014 through September 16, 2014.
As a result, Staples is offering free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and a free credit report, to customers who used a payment card at any of the affected stores during the relevant time periods.
During the investigation, Staples also received reports of fraudulent payment card use related to four stores in Manhattan at various times from April through September 2014. The investigation found no malware or suspicious activity related to the payment systems at those stores, it said. However, Staples is offering free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, identity theft insurance, and a free credit report, to customers who used their payment cards at those stores during specific time periods.