Rumours of database security breach causes Romanian bank to block 17,000 cards

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Visa and the Romanian Banks Association have reported notifications of a possible database security breach at a European processor.

According to Romania Business, CEC Bank blocked 17,000 cards on suspicions of a security breach shortly after Visa received notification of a possible breach.

Catalin Cretu, general manager of Visa Europe for Romania, was quoted as saying that it was working with banks to make sure cardholders are protected, and advised cardholders to pay attention to their accounts and report any suspect or unusual activity.

The Romanian Banks Association announced on Wednesday 14 December that it had received notifications from several banks about a security breach at a European processor, which might have led to information leakage on transactional data.

A statement by CEC Bank said: “The bank has been informed that a number of cards issued by banks in Romania and abroad have been potentially compromised through an international database. CEC Bank has decided to block the cards and reissue a new card and PIN, at no cost, for a number of cards in its portfolio.”

However, it added that the attack did not target CEC Bank's cards specifically and was not due to any vulnerability within the bank. So far, CEC Bank is the only bank in Romania to have declared itself a victim of the breach.

The Heartland Payment Systems breach in January 2009 led to the compromise of 130 million credit cards after intruders broke into the systems and planted malicious software to steal card data carried on the company's networks.

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