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Hacker Stole Okemo Customers’ Credit Card Information

A security violation at a ski resort in Vermont might be responsible for compromising several thousands of active credit cards.

Okemo Mountain Resort announced on March 31, 2008 that attackers hacked into its computer system and possibly viewed data relating to credit cards being used in 28,168 transactions during February 7-22, 2006 and accessed nearly 18,401 credit cards during January-March, same year.

While it is still not known as to how many cardholders were affected, Okemo thinks that the number would be fewer than the transactions held. However, Bonnie MacPherson, Spokeswoman for Okemo, said that the company is not aware of any fraud case facing the customers due to the hack, as reported by TIMES ARGUS on April 1, 2008.

MacPherson further said that the company is unknown to any fraud case and why it is making this announcement so that people become aware and take necessary precautions since the forensic investigation was completed. MacPherson said that the company feel fully informed, hence, it is ready to report everything publicly.

According to a report by NewsCenter 5's Shiba Russell, the breach with credit cards partly occurred at the time of the school holidays when Vermont's resort would remain most busy.

However, according to Okemo officials, they hired the professional services of forensic and data security experts who discovered that all credit cards put to use during January-March 2006 were subject to compromise.

In addition, MacPherson noted that the data hack was unique to Okemo and didn't involve credit cards of customers at Crested Butte in Colorado or Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire, two remaining resorts of Okemo.

The company informs that it has already notified MasterCard, American Express and Visa, and banks which in turn would notify the affected cardholders. Also, federal regulatory agencies and law enforcement have also been involved.

MacPherson added that the company has enhanced its firewall security and taken additional precautions.

The data breach was the second such high-profile hack in New England that involved debit and credit card details. In March 2008, Hannaford supermarkets in Maine announced that 4.2 Million debit and credit card information were subject to compromise with 1,800 reported fraud cases.

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