Credit cards re-issued in Finland after data breach in Spain
A credit card security breach has been uncovered in Spain that may involve up to tens of thousands of Finnish bank and credit cards.
So far it is not known exactly how many Visa or Master Card accounts have been compromised because of the information breach. Where in Spain the hacking took place is also unclear.
In Finland, the news was first reported on Tuesday by the Finnish Broadcasting Company's (YLE) main evening news bulletin.
According to Henry Kylänlahti, a Vice President at Luottokunta, a full-service card payment company that provides banks with card payment solutions, it is likely that the target of the hacking has been a Spanish firm in charge of card payment arrangements.
The large volume of the cards for which the information has ended up in the wrong hands indicates that the criminals have managed to gain access to payment processing data.
The information for a Finnish credit card may have been in the hacked data register, for example, if the cardholder has made a purchase from a Spanish online store.
So far there is no need for average cardholders to take any action, other than to monitor their account statements, Kylänlahti advises.
“If there is something dodgy on the statement, one should contact the card issuer. This may lead either to intensified monitoring or the cancellation and reissuing of the card”, Kylänlahti explains.
In Kylänlahti’s opinion it is impossible to come up with “absolutely foolproof” systems.
“In data systems there are always mistakes and loopholes and back doors that hackers may be able to exploit, one way or another. But of course safety measures are constantly being updated.”
The OP Bank Group reports that the Spanish data breach has affected nearly ten thousand of the group’s customers, and so far around a thousand cards have been cancelled and re-issued. Handelsbanken, in turn, says that it has re-issued customers’ cards as a precautionary measure both in Finland and in Sweden. Sampo Bank and Ålandsbanken are both in the process of re-issuing certain cards.
Paula Näkki, Head of Consumer Cards at Nordea Finland, says that the bank is following the situation closely.
“In questionable cases the bank will contact its clients”, Näkki explains.
According to Näkki, Nordea has so far re-issued a few dozen cards because of the incident in Spain.
This type of server breach occurs nearly on a weekly basis.
In terms of scale, the Spanish data breach episode, however, is one of the largest that has occurred in Europe in recent times.
Previously in HS International Edition:
Secure websites used to steal bank and credit card information (8.4.2008)
Nordea Bank customers hit by malware incident (27.2.2008)