Announced this week, Staples representatives confirmed that the company is looking into a breach of the retailer’s computer systems that allowed consumer’s credit card data to fall into the hands of hackers. Alerted to the fraudulent activity by various credit card companies, the company is working with law enforcement professionals to resolve the situation and make a determination on how many consumer credit cards were leaked in the breach. Similar to other stores that have had these type of breaches, Staples representatives stated that customers won’t be responsible for any fraudulent charges, assuming the charges are reported in a timely manner.
Releasing a short statement about the breach late on Monday, Staples representative Mark Cautela said “Staples is in the process of investigating a potential issue involving credit card data and has contacted law enforcement. We take the protection of customer information very seriously and are working to resolve the situation.”
Regardless of the severity of the breach, it’s highly likely that Staples management will move faster in rolling out support for the new Chip and PIN credit card systems that payment companies have been pushing within the retail industry. Many merchants have been reluctant to upgrade the payment hardware at the checkout as well as update software to utilize the new systems due to increased costs. However, the embedded smart chip within a Chip and PIN payment card allows the consumer to utilize a personal PIN number, basically making card numbers useless to hackers.
Of course, Staples isn’t the only company to suffer a significant data breach at the hands of hackers. Last year, retail giant Target lost millions of credit cards to hackers and caused the resignation of the company’s CEO during mid-2014. Other companies that went through a similar breach over the last twelve months include Home Depot, JPMorgan Chase, United Parcel Service, Michael’s craft store , the Albertsons grocery chain, Sally Beauty Supply, Dairy Queen and KMart.