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Global Payments Confirms Security Breach

Payment Processor Global Payments Confirms Security Breach

Early Friday morning, reports surfaced that VISA and MasterCard had started to notify banks regarding a potential security breach at a U.S.-based credit card processor.

While the payment processor in question was originally unnamed, reports emerged shortly after that the said victim was Global Payments, Inc., self described as one of the world’s largest electronic transaction processing companies.

Global Payments HackedThose reports are now confirmed, and Global Payments has issued a statement regarding the unauthorized access into a portion of its processing system. The company did not say how many cards may have been affected or provide additional details.

Before the company came forward with the confirmation, shares of Global Payments, Inc. fell by more than 14% at one point, and hovering down over 9 percent in trading Friday morning before being halted just before noon eastern time. The stock never re-opened for trading, and the announcement was made after the bell on Friday.

The company issued the following statement late Friday afternoon:

Global Payments Inc. (NYSE: GPN), a leader in payment processing services, announced it identified and self-reported unauthorized access into a portion of its processing system. In early March 2012, the company determined card data may have been accessed. It immediately engaged external experts in information technology forensics and contacted federal law enforcement. The company promptly notified appropriate industry parties to allow them to minimize potential cardholder impact. The company is continuing its investigation into this matter.

"It is reassuring that our security processes detected an intrusion. It is crucial to understand that this incident does not involve our merchants or their relationships with their customers," said Chairman and CEO Paul R. Garcia.

Global Payments will hold a conference call Monday, April 2, 2012 at 8:00 AM EDT. Callers may access the conference call via the investor relations page of the Company's Web site at by clicking the "Webcast" button; or callers in North America may dial 1-888-895-3550 and callers outside North America may dial 1-706-758-8809. The pass code is "GPN."

Developing Story, More to Come Soon.

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For more than 10 years, Mike Lennon has been closely monitoring the threat landscape and analyzing trends in the National Security and enterprise cybersecurity space. In his role at SecurityWeek, he oversees the editorial direction of the publication and is the Director of several leading security industry conferences around the world.