Yarn, ribbon and breached computers -- Michaels (possibly) gets hacked

Michaels is a pretty cool store, if you are into crafts. If you have a need for things like yarn, pipe-cleaners or fabric, it is a fabulous place. Heck, tech nerds can have fun there too -- they can build a Raspberry Pi case out of popsicle sticks.

However, there is one thing consumers don't expect to get at the craft store -- their credit cards compromised. Yes, Michaels joins Target as the latest victim of hackers...maybe. You see, sadly, it seems Michaels is not sure what exactly may have been breached (if anything).

"Michaels Stores, Inc. recently learned of possible fraudulent activity on some US payment cards that had been used at Michaels, suggesting that the Company may have experienced a data security attack. The Company is working closely with federal law enforcement and is conducting an investigation with the help of third-party data security experts to establish the facts", says the company in a press release.

Chuck Rubin, CEO says, "we are concerned there may have been a data security attack on Michaels that may have affected our customers’ payment card information, and we are taking aggressive action to determine the nature and scope of the issue. While we have not confirmed a compromise to our systems, we believe it is in the best interest of our customers to alert them to this potential issue so they can take steps to protect themselves, for example, by reviewing their payment card account statements for unauthorized charges".

In other words, Michaels may have been compromised, but the company isn't sure, so it is warning customers just in case. While the proactive stance is appreciated, the lack of knowledge by the store is troubling. When consumers shop at a store, they assume that competent security experts are always monitoring systems. The wishy-washy statements by the company do not build confidence.

According to Krebs on Security, the secret service is involved, so something is definitely afoot. Of course, Michaels suggests customers remain vigilant while monitoring their credit card statements -- the standard speak in such situations.

One thing is for sure, consumers are growing tired of these stories. On a recent shopping trip to Target, I overheard multiple shoppers mention uncertainty about using a credit card and instead opting for cash.

While some say using cash is a positive, I urge you to remember that some credit cards offer enhanced warranties on purchases. Not to mention, if you lose a receipt and need to return something, a store may be able to look up the purchase with a credit card -- not so with cash.

Are you getting sick and tired of these stories about stores having security breaches? Sound off in the comments.

Image Credit: nobeastsofierceShutterstock

 

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