August 24, 2014

Supervalu says 180 stores affected in data breach

Aug. 18, 2014 – Nationwide supermarket chain Supervalu Inc. alerted its customers Thursday to a potential data breach on its point-of-sales network sometime between June 22 through July 17 at 180 of its stores and stand-alone liquor stores.

The company's statement said the investigation is ongoing and that whether or not any debit or credit card data was stolen is unknown. "This criminal intrusion may have resulted in the theft of account numbers, and in some cases also the expiration date, other numerical information and/or the cardholder's name, from payment cards used at some point-of-sale systems at some of the Company's owned and franchised stores," the statement said. "The Company has not determined that any such cardholder data was in fact stolen by the intruder, and it has no evidence of any misuse of any such data, but is making this announcement out of an abundance of caution."

Supervalu also listed the affected stores on its website.

The Wall Street Journal reported that an attack on Supervalu's point-of-sale network would be similar to what took place at Target Corporation late last year and caused its massive data breach. Other high profile merchant data breaches that have taken place include Neiman Marcus Group, restaurant chain P.F. Chang's China Bistro and Goodwill Industries thrift stores.

"This data breach is just one more reason merchants need a national standard for data security," said NAFCU President and CEO Dan Berger. NAFCU was the first financial trade association to call for a national data security standard for retailers in the wake of the massive Target data breach last year, and continues to push for action in Congress to help financial institutions combat security threats.

WSJ noted how expensive these breaches are for financial institutions, as they are the ones having to reissue new cards and cover fraud costs. According to Javelin Strategy & Research, "U.S. credit-card fraud losses totaled roughly $18 billion last year," the article stated.