Hannaford, Sweetbay Victims of Data Breach

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Hannaford, Sweetbay Victims of Data Breach

03/19/2008
SCARBOROUGH, Maine -- Hannaford Bros. Co. experienced what it calls a "data intrusion into its computer network," resulting in customer credit and debit card numbers being stolen, reported Progressive Grocer, sister publication to Convenience Store News.

The breach affected all 165 Hannaford stores, as well as 106 Sweetbay Supermarket stores in Florida, a sister Delhaize chain; and certain independent operators that sell Hannaford items, the report stated.

Hannaford stated it knows of "fewer than 2,000" cases of reported fraud connected to the security breach, but 4.2 million unique credit and debit card numbers were possibly exposed to fraud, according to the report.

In a letter posted on the grocer's Web site, Hannaford CEO Ron Hodge assured shoppers "no personal information, such as names or addresses, was accessed. Hannaford doesn't collect, know or keep any personally identifiable customer information from transactions."

Stolen data was limited to credit and debit card numbers and expiration dates, and was illegally accessed from Hannaford's computer systems during transmission of card authorization, Hodge stated.

As soon as the retailer became aware of "unusual credit card activity," on Feb. 27, it "immediately initiated a comprehensive investigation with the assistance of leading information technology security experts to safeguard customer information and determine the cause," according to a company statement cited by Progressive Grocer.

The grocer is also working with credit and debit card issuers and law enforcement authorities to resolve the issue, Hodge said.