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As many as 6,000 Finnish credit card details compromised in US computer break-in
Holders of cards not liable for possible misuse
The credit card details of possibly as many as 6,000 Finns ended up in the wrong hands in the recent information theft by computer hackers in the United States.
On Sunday the number of Finns whose credit card details may have been compromised was estimated at just 500.
Card data of Finns who have used their Visa or MasterCard in a store or a hotel in the United States, or via a US-based online retailer that uses the services of Card-Systems Solutions may have been stolen.
During the weekend Luottokunta - a large Finnish credit card service company - only had information regarding Finnish cards used in US stores whose magnetic strip information was now in the possession of the thieves. Hence the figure in the hundreds.
On Monday, the number was dramatically increased, when it emerged that details of more than 5,000 cards that had been used for purchases over the Internet were included in the snatched information.
The 6,000 compromised Finnish credit cards included 4,000 Visa cards and 2,000 MasterCards.
If the thieves have come across a card's magnetic strip information, they would technically be able to duplicate the card, whereas data from cards used for online purchases can only be used for further Internet shopping.
Already on Monday Finnish banks and Luottokunta started contacting those of their clients whose credit card details may have been compromised.
According to Petri Carpén, deputy managing director of Luottokunta, none of the Finnish cards have had to be cancelled as yet on suspicion of misuse.
Holders of cards whose data is stolen will not be held responsible for fraudulent charges. The banks and Luottokunta will answer for any such expenses. Also, the credit card holders are not expected to take any action, but the card issuer will contact them.
According to the banks, the aim is to renew all the compromised cards relatively quickly. For example, if the holder of a card is currently abroad, he or she can continue using it, but the card activities are being monitored.
Sensitive information contained in up to 40 million credit cards was seized by hackers, who managed to break into the mainframe of American company Card-Systems Solutions, a provider of payment processing solutions for banks and businesses.