REUTERS: The US Secret Service is investigating a major cyber intrusion at an Atlanta-based payment processor that could expose millions of MasterCard, Visa, American Express and Discover cardholders to fraudulent charges.
Processor Global Payments Inc said on Friday it had found “unauthorised access” into its system early in March and notified law enforcement and financial institutions.
Payment network operators MasterCard Inc, Visa Inc, American Express Co and Discover Financial Services confirmed they were affected, along with banks and other franchises that issue cards bearing their logos.
A spokesman for the Secret Service said the agency is leading investigations into the case but declined to give any details.
Though Global Payments is far from a household name, middlemen such as the company are prized targets for hackers because of the vast amount of sensitive financial information they handle.
The company’s stock fell more than nine per cent on the news before trading was halted. It said it would discuss the breach in a phone call for investors on Monday.