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More real time data thefts reported
LUDLOW, Vt. (4/3/08)--A ski resort in Vermont announced its computer system was hacked and customers' card data stolen in a "real time" heist similar to that of the Hannaford Bros. data breach last month. Okemo Mountain Resort, based in Ludlow, Vt., announced Monday the data were stolen while in transit as customers swiped their credit card. A press release on its website noted that the intruder gained potential access to cardholder names, account numbers and expiration dates during a 16-day period between Feb. 7 and Feb. 22. Up to 28,168 credit card transactions were involved, said Okemo. Also, thieves may have accessed data to 18,401 individual credit cards used at Okemo from January through March 2006. Although the data heist isn't as widespread as one announced last month by Maine grocery store chain Hannaford Bros., it is similar in that the theft was conducted in "real time." Most data thefts in the past have been stolen from databases stored in a company or processor's computers--not while the data is in transit. Bonnie MacPherson, Okemo's spokeswoman, told Computerworld (April 2) that the information was taken as the cards were being swiped. The type of theft may be wider spread than the initial Hannaford Bros. case. Law enforcement authorities investigating the Okemo case told the resort they are investigating about 50 reported incidents of the same type of breach in the Northeast alone. Okemo's security alert said the break-in did not involve credit cards customers used at two other resorts the company owns: Mount Sunapee in New Hampshire or Crested Butte in Colorado.


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