Security Experts:

Delta, Sears Hit by Card Breach at Online Services Firm

Delta Air Lines, Sears Holdings and likely other major companies have been hit by a payment card breach suffered last year by San Jose, CA-based online services provider [24]7.ai.

In a brief statement published on Wednesday, [24]7.ai revealed that it had notified a “small number” of client companies of a security incident impacting payment card information. According to the firm, the intrusion occurred on September 26 and it was contained on October 12, 2017.

“We have notified law enforcement and are cooperating fully to ensure the protection of our clients and their customers' online safety. We are confident that the platform is secure, and we are working diligently with our clients to determine if any of their customer information was accessed,” [24]7.ai said.

[24]7.ai provides customer acquisition and engagement solutions to organizations in a wide range of sectors, including agencies, education, financial services, healthcare, insurance, retail, telecom, travel and hospitality, and utilities. Its customers include Adobe, Copa Airlines, Duke Energy, Grainger, Scotiabank, and Vodafone.

Two of [24]7.ai’s customers have come forward to date to inform customers that they have been hit by the security breach.

One of them is Delta, which told customers that their payment card information may have been compromised. The company said no other information, such as government IDs, passports, security or Skymiles details, was impacted.

“At this point, even though only a small subset of our customers would have been exposed, we cannot say definitively whether any of our customers' information was actually accessed or subsequently compromised,” Delta stated.

The airline, which used [24]7.ai’s online chat services, has promised to set up a dedicated page at delta.com/response where it will post updates regarding this incident.

Sears Holdings, the company that owns the Sears and Kmart retail store brands, says [24]7.ai has provided online support services. Sears believes the incident has impacted the credit card information of less than 100,000 customers.

“We believe the credit card information for certain customers who transacted online between September 27, 2017 and October 12, 2017 may have been compromised,” Sears stated. “Customers using a Sears-branded credit card were not impacted. In addition, there is no evidence that our stores were compromised or that any internal Sears systems were accessed by those responsible. [24]7.ai has assured us that their systems are now secure.”

Sears and Delta said they only learned of the data breach from [24]7.ai in mid and late March, respectively. SecurityWeek has reached out to the vendor to find out why it has waited so long to notify impacted companies.

*Updated to remove Merrill Lynch from the list of [24]7.ai customers

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.