A breach at a US credit processing firm could have far-reaching consequences for users, putting thousands at risk from identity theft and fraud.
Atlanta-based Global Payments said that it had suspended all of its operations voluntarily while the company investigates the breach. The company did not report the nature of the breach or whether it was the work of outside attackers.
The firm said that the incident had first been spotted in early March. The company said that it is currently working with law enforcement on a criminal investigation into the matter.
While no official word was given on the attack, media reports suggest that hundreds of thousands of users may have been exposed to possible fraud. A report in the Wall Street Journal claims that Visa and Mastercard data were obtained and that fraudulent activity may have occurred as far back as January.
While the details of the incident are not set to be revealed until next week when Global Payments plans to hold a briefing on the matter, experts are already comparing the breach to other high-profile credit card incidents.
"This is unfortunately reminiscent of the Heartland Payment Systems breach that started in 2007 and was finally discovered and disclosed in early 2009," noted Solera Nerowrks chief technology officer Joe Levy
"There is just no telling yet what the size and cost of this event will climb to."