Card data breaches are apparently not an exclusively U.S. phenomenon. According to media reports, Visa Europe is investigating a possible card data security breach in Romania and some European banks have already started to close accounts and reissue cards.
One, CEC Bank, a state-owned bank in Romania, issued the following statement about the breach:
“The Bank received official notices according to which the information related to a number of cards issued by financial institutions from Romania and from abroad has been probably compromised at the level of an international database. To the purpose of protecting the money availabilities of the customers and according to the contractual provisions, CEC Bank has applied the measure of blocking and re-issuing for free the card and the related PIN code, to a number of cards within its own portfolio.”
Media reports put the number of cards at 17,000.
Visa Europe said it had been informed of a potential data security breach at a European processor and an investigation is under way. The brand said it was working closely with our member banks to ensure cardholders are protected.
The Romanian Association of Banks, meanwhile, revealed that several banks had been advised of a possible security breach at a European payment processor, and urged any customers suspicious that their card details may have been compromised to contact their bank for clarification.
Card data breaches in the U.S. have caused hundreds of millions of cards to be reissued and cost card issuers hundreds of millions of dollars.