Kmart is the latest retailer to be subject to a data beach. The hack has compromised the security of customers’ credit and debit card accounts, according to an announcement made by Sears Holdings.
The data breach comes following a string of other hacks that have targeted big corporate retailers, including Home Depot, Target, and Supervalu.
According to Sears, the Kmart IT department identified that its payment data systems had been hacked into on Thursday and has successfully managed to remove the malware. However, the company has not provided information regarding how many cards were affected.
Based on what the current forensic investigation says it appears that no personal information (such as Social Security information, pin numbers, and email addresses, etc.) was obtained.
Following the breach Kmart launched a full investigation into the matter with a leading security firm. It is also working with federal law enforcement authorities and banking partners and has stated that it will be improving the software used to protect customer information.
For customers who have shopped at Kmart stores through the month of September the retailer said it will offer free credit monitoring protection. Customers have no liability for any charges that were unauthorized if they report the incident as soon as possible.
Only a few weeks ago Home Depot, the number one home improvement chain in the US, reported that a data breach in its US and Canada divisions affected more than 56 million debit and credit cards. The retailer said its payment system was hacked in over 2,000 stores in the US and Canada.
The incidents have caused consumers to feel much less secure about the corporate world keeping their information safe from hackers.
US card security simply not good enough
The problem may get worse and hackers penetrating security systems in the United States will only continue unless something drastic is done to improve the quality of data protection.
What perplexes many people is why American retailers continue to use outdated and poor security systems when it comes to protecting shoppers’ card details, especially compared to other advanced economies. It is falling far behind in the usage of card details stored on computer chips.
Sears has said that updates will be available online at kmart.com and customers can contact its customer care center at 888-488-5978 if they have any concerns.