Make us your home page
Instagram

Parent of TJMaxx, Marshalls pays more to settle 2006-2007 data breach investigation

The parent of TJMaxx and Marshalls will pay $9.75 million and allow an unprecedented three years of state government monitoring of its data security effort to settle an investigation into how hackers swiped 100 million credit and debit card numbers three years ago.

TJX Cos. on Tuesday struck the deal with attorneys general from 41 states. It used some of the $107 million it set aside last year to deal with the fallout of the breach that went on for 17 months in 2006 and 2007. So far, $41 million has gone to reimbursing banks for their losses, and the state settlement will pay for the cost of its inquiry.

Florida, the site of the initial TJMaxx-Marshalls breach and much of the fraud it stirred up, was among five lead states to negotiate the settlement.

After describing TJX as a victim as much as consumers were, Florida Attorney General Bill McCollum said the deal shows he is serious that "companies need to take the appropriate precautions to protect the data with which customers entrust them."

TJX chief financial officer Jeffrey Naylor termed the agreement a sign that the company and state law enforcement officials are resolved to better protect consumer data from hackers. The deal spells out specific steps for TJX to tighten data security, requires notice in 10 days if there is another lapse and earmarks $500,000 for the state to monitor compliance and look into other increasingly common payment card data breaches.

In the TJX case, which started in a parked van outside a Miami Marshalls, hackers tapped into a TJX wireless network that transmits credit and debit numbers between stores and a central data center. They swiped personal information such as the driver's license numbers of 450,000 people who returned merchandise without receipts. Crooks as far away as Sweden and Hong Kong tried to use the card numbers. Police in Gainesville arrested a ring that allegedly implanted the numbers on enough gift cards to buy $3 million in valuables at Wal-Mart and Sam's Clubs.

Usually card issuers eat bogus charges and issue new cards. But customers are angered by the uncertainty of losing money and are not always reimbursed. Many card issuers refuse to tell customer which retailer's system was tapped.

The state settlement follows a recent TJX settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, but not everybody sees government looking over the payment industry's shoulder as a good thing.

"If it's protecting consumers, that's one thing," said Avivah Litan, a computer security expert with Gartner Research. "But the government should not get out of its league dictating technology solutions. It changes faster than they can keep up."

Mark Albright can be reached at albright@sptimes.com or (727) 893-8252.

Parent of TJMaxx, Marshalls pays more to settle 2006-2007 data breach investigation 06/23/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 23, 2009 9:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. 'Road to Nowhere' is back: Next phase of Suncoast Parkway coming

    Roads

    Despite intense public opposition and dubious traffic projections, the Florida Department of Transportation has announced that construction of the toll road known as "Suncoast 2" is expected to start in early 2018.

    The Suncoast Parkway ends at U.S. 98 just south of Citrus County. For years residents have opposed extending the toll road, a project dubbed the "Suncoast 2" into Citrus County. But state officials recently announced that the Suncoast 2 should start construction in early 2018. [Stephen J. Coddington  |  TIMES]
  2. A sports rout on Wall Street

    Retail

    NEW YORK — Sporting goods retailers can't shake their losing streak.

  3. Grocery chain Aldi hosting hiring event in Brandon Aug. 24

    Retail

    BRANDON — German grocery chain Aldi is holding a hiring event for its Brandon store Aug. 24. It is looking to fill store associate, shift manager and manager trainee positions.

  4. Lightning owner Jeff Vinik backs film company pursuing global blockbusters

    Corporate

    TAMPA — Jeff Vinik's latest investment might be coming to a theater near you.

    Jeff Vinik, Tampa Bay Lightning owner, invested in a new movie company looking to appeal to a global audience. | [Times file photo]
  5. Trigaux: Look to new Inc. 5000 rankings for Tampa Bay's future heavyweights

    Business

    There's a whole lotta fast-growing private companies here in Tampa Bay. Odds are good you have not heard of most of them.

    Yet.

    Kyle Taylor, CEO and founder of The Penny Hoarder, fills a glass for his employees this past Wednesday as the young St. Petersburg personal advice business celebrates its landing at No. 25 on the 2017 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing private companies in the country. Taylor, still in his 20s, wins kudos from executive editor Alexis Grant for keeping the firm's culture innovative. The business ranked No. 32 last year. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times]