Computer Hacked, Local Banks Replace Debit Cards

By Guy Leonard, County Times

HOLLYWOOD, Md. (Feb. 26, 2009)—Several local banks have had to replace thousands of Visa check debit cards after learning that the third party supplier of the cards had their computer system hacked and many account numbers could have been compromised, The County Times has learned.

Cedar Point Federal Credit Union has informed its customers of the problem and has begun issuing the new debit cards.

One source with knowledge of the card problems said that as many 3,000 local customers’ account information may have been compromised as a result of the third party supplier’s security system being breached.

Bank managers at Cedar Point Federal Credit Union revealed little officially about the problem, including the name of the third party supplier.

However, Linda Knott, vice president of the credit union at the Maple Road branch did confirm that “many financial institutions” had been affected by the problem.

The credit union’s Web site confirmed that the problem existed but stated that there had been no reported credit card frauds using the compromised information.

Also, the credit union Web site reported, the bank was not able to search the list for customers to see if their account information had been compromised.

The Web site did state that customers will be contacted by the credit union if their account is found to be involved.

Also, the Web site stated, each card that may have been compromised in the security breach will be deactivated by March 2.

The County Times has also learned that some Visa debit cards from local Maryland Bank and Trust Co. branches have been recalled because of the security breach.

Capt. Rick Burris, commander of the county’s Bureau of Criminal Investigations, confirmed that his detectives are not currently working any fraud cases related to the breach but are aware that they could happen.

“That type of problem is ongoing,” Burris told The County Times Monday. “The bad guys use technology to their advantage just like the good guys do.

“But we’re not working any cases so far related to that.”

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