Settlement Reached in Lawsuits over Hacked Data

On 21 September 2007, TJX Cos. said that it has decided to settle customer class-action lawsuits in Canada and US involving claims over the illegal break-ins into its computer system.

Without referring specifically to the settlement, the company mentioned that its anticipated costs were covered in a $107 Million reserve from its Q2 report for the fiscal year 2008 and its estimated $21 Million costs were expected in the fiscal year 2009.

Refuting the allegations in the lawsuits, the company declared that additional legal efforts would prove costly and time-consuming.

The terms of the settlement for the shoppers are more attractive than originally offered by TJX and may help the company overcome the problem resulting from the intrusion. Hackers had been able to access its PCs for over a year till the breach came into light in December last year.

Chief Executive for TJX, Carol Meyrowitz, said that they regret the inconvenience caused by the intrusion into their PCs to their consumers, as per boston.com on September 22, 2007. Carol also added that they are grateful to their consumers for continuous support they have shown and that TJX has been working hard to ensure good settlement for their customers.

Finalization of the settlement is due and is depending on the court approval. It is also subject to the independent evaluation of the information security improvements that TJX initiated following the breach.

The company revealed the breach by hackers on TJX computer systems on January 17, 2007 while access to data from card transactions dated back to as far as late 2002. Hackers who broke into TJX computer systems were able to steal not less than 45.7 Million debit and credit card numbers. According to TJX, of the affected cards, nearly 75% were past their expiry dates or had masked magnetic strip.

Investigations are underway by the company and the Secret Service. However, no arrests have been made yet, with the exception of 10 individuals ruled out as the TJX hackers for buying Wal-Mart gift cards using the stolen customer data from TJX.

Related article: Stolen Data Increased Three Times in 2007 over 2005-06

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