Hackers Stole American Express Credit Card Details In Startling Data Breach

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An American Express credit card data breach has occurred with hackers obtaining the information from an unnamed third-party merchant processor. No word on how many customers are impacted yet, but the breach has leaked American Express card numbers, member names, and card expiration dates. 

Unknown hackers managed to attack one of credit provider American Express' third-party merchant processors, stealing pertinent PCI (Payment Card Industry) data such as credit card information and card holder names. In a recent data breach notification filing with the state of Massachusetts, the company said it has become "aware that a third party service provider engaged by numerous merchants experienced unauthorized access to its system."

In the letter—which reads more like a courtesy notice—American Express addresses the problem, but the company is clear in that it was not its own servers that were compromised, but a non-American Express-owned or controlled system.

On the backend, American Express says that it has alerted regulatory authorities and is actively monitoring user accounts for fraud. If any suspicious or fraudulent charges are incurred, members are not liable. The company also suggests that card holders to log into their accounts to review their statements for any unusual activity and to quickly contact its fraud protection services for any assistance.

Details that haven't been officially disclosed include what merchant processor was involved in the breach, when it happened, and how many card members are affected. The fact is, such data breaches are occurring more frequently than ever, so we hope financial institutions like American Express step up to the plate, such as rethinking and investing more to secure their customer's PCI info. In this scenario, while the hack targeted a third-party processor, under PCI DSS (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliance, American Express, as the sole proprietor of that data, is part of that chain of information.