Criminals using highly sophisticated malware were able to hack cards used at numerous stores between May 8, 2013 and Jan. 27, 2014, according to a letter posted by Michaels Stores CEO Chuck Rubin on the Michaels website on April 17.
About 400,000 cards used in Michaels’ subsidiary store Aaron Brothers stores were also affected between June 26, 2013 and Feb. 27, 2014. None of those stores were located in New Jersey.
The store first learned of the breach in January and informed its customers. It then employed two independent expert security firms, which discovered the malware. Neither firm had ever encountered this form of malware before, according to Rubin.
“We want you to know we have identified and fully contained the incident, and we can assure you the malware no longer presents a threat to customers while shopping at Michaels or Aaron Brothers,” Rubin states in his letter.
The investigation determined that the attack was limited to card information, including card number and expiration date, but no additional customer personal information, such as name, address or PIN, was at risk.
“The Company has received a limited number of reports from the payment card brands and banks of fraudulent use of payment cards potentially connected to Michaels or Aaron Brothers,” Rubin said. “ … We are truly sorry and deeply regret any inconvenience this may cause. Our customers are always our number one priority and we are committed to retaining your trust and loyalty.”
Michaels is offering identity protection and credit monitoring services to affected Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers in the U.S. for 12 months at no cost to them. They are also offering these customers a fraud assistance service for 12 months at no cost to them. This service provides customers with a trained representative to assist them in the event they experience a fraud-related issue resulting from this incident. Information on the services can be found here.
Anyone with questions or n need of further information can call 1-877-412-7145.
For a complete list of impacted Michaels stores, click here.
For a complete list of impacted Aaron Brothers stores, click here.