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Card firm hacking hits thousands of Swedes

TT/David Landes · 14 Oct 2009, 07:57

Published: 14 Oct 2009 07:57 GMT+02:00

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Computer systems at both card makers were breached recently, allowing hackers to get away with data on thousands of banking cards, the Aftonbladet newspaper reports.

The hacking at Visa took place in Spain and the company won’t say exactly how many cardholders may have been affected.

Nevertheless, a number of Swedish banks have begun notifying customers about the incident.

“Where there is a risk that the cards may be misused, we contact customers and ask them to block their cards so that we can exchange them,” said SEB spokesperson Kerstin Ottosson to the TT news agency.

“For us, there are about 28,000 cards which have been affected, but I can’t say how many of them will need to be exchanged.”

Swedbank spokesperson Jenny Clevström said the bank was aware of the breach, but that no Swedbank customers were affected.

“But we’re going to exchange a few cards as a precautionary measure,” she told TT.

Helena Östman of Nordea said the bank had been notified by both MasterCard and Visa about the problem.

A customer with ICA Bank told Aftonbladet that he had been informed by the bank that his card had been blocked due to a breach at MasterCard somewhere in Europe.

Story continues below…

Handlesbanken also took steps to notify affected customers on Tuesday.

“We’ve gone out with information today that a card manufacturer may have been hacked in another European country,” Handlesbanken spokesperson Bengt Carlsson told the newspaper.

TT/David Landes (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:46 October 14, 2009 by Zpeed
As always there's no problem and no risk for customers, yet still some cards will be swapped. Like many spokespersons of large companies: only a minor problem that affects only a very small set of customers in very special conditions, nothing to worry about (Apple, anyone?).

Swedbank is best:

"...the bank was aware of the breach, but that no Swedbank customers were affected."


"But we're going to exchange a few cards as a precautionary measure,"

Just say how it is, you lost your stuff in a hack in Spain (what are our card nrs doing there?) and you're not even sure how many / what cards are lost.

Customers are not stupid and playing down this stuff is just annoying.
09:25 October 14, 2009 by peropaco
The banks have to play it down as it they will lose credibility if they say who and how many got affected. The average data breach will cost the bank roughly 1,500.00Kronor per record and about 965,00.Kronor in lost business per customer. If you add to that the cost for notifying each customer, damage to reputation and 25% of the affected customers will take their business elswhere. This is the reason why they lying foucks will come out and say it was no big deal.
11:27 October 14, 2009 by BrittInSweden
Two of my friends got caught out by this and their cards were attempted to be accessed by some charity for the blind in the USA. SEB picked up on it and blocked the card with no money lost to either of them.


Your card details are all over the world on VISA and Master Card servers.
11:52 October 14, 2009 by Dr. Dillner
Well stated, Peropaco, you must be in the banking business.
12:13 October 14, 2009 by KamiZ
yes all the servers are connected. this is standard practice by all companies with a global presence. what they're saying is that the breach occured in a server in Spain. the hackers probably entered the system through a server in Spain and then did what we all just read. the banks aren't responsible i think
13:56 October 14, 2009 by peropaco
@Dr. Dillner, Näääääj. Just a simple Brougham driver. :-D))
09:26 October 15, 2009 by karex
KamiZ is right: it was pobably a server breach. In a global company that means access to world-wide data. Which also means it has probably affected a lot more people than just Swedish customers, possibly customers all over the world.

However, if it is indeed true that they can say how many customers were affected, then that means they also know who they are, and possibly halted the data transfer as it happened. Unless of course it was an inside job and someone just burned a CD or downloaded data directly on a memory stick... scary thought.
09:32 October 16, 2009 by Nemesis
Anyone hacks my account, I will track them down and have an Ulster to Sweden cultural exchange, no matter what part of the planet they are on and who they are associated with.
13:30 October 16, 2009 by Beynch
"..somewhere in Europe,,,,another european country"? According to many other stories on this topic, 80%, or was it 90%, of credit card scams, are originating in Roumania. Why is this story not mentioning this?
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