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Barnes & Noble Admits Major Security Issue at Point of Checkout

by Todd Haselton | October 24, 2012October 24, 2012 9:30 am PST

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Barnes & Noble on Wednesday published a press release in which it said that its PIN pad devices, the ones you use to enter in your PIN number at checkout inside its stores, have been compromised in 63 of its stores. The company is already working with federal law enforcement agencies to figure out exactly what happened, and who the culprit is, but said it’s clear that criminals were trying to steal credit and debit card information in those 63 aforementioned locations. The security issue was only found on 1% of the total PIN pads that Barnes & Noble has across its 700 nationwide stores.

“The company emphasized that its customer database is secure,” Barnes & Noble said Wednesday. “Purchases on Barnes & Noble.com, NOOK and NOOK mobile apps were not affected. The member database was also not affected. None of the affected PIN pads was discovered at Barnes & Noble College Bookstores.”

Apparently, those involved in the scheme, planted bugs into PIN pad devices that allowed them to capture PIN numbers. Barnes & Noble disconnected all of the pads by Sept. 14, when it discovered the issue, and said customers can now use them safely.

If you’ve recently used a card in a Barnes & Noble store, the company advises that you do the following:

Debit Card Users:

  • Change the PIN numbers on their debit cards
  • Review their accounts for unauthorized transactions
  • Notify their banks immediately if they discover any unauthorized purchases or withdrawals

Credit Card Users:

  • Review their statements for any unauthorized transactions
  • Notify their card-issuing banks if they discover any unauthorized purchases or cash advances
A full list of the affected stores can be found in the press release below.
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10/24/2012

Barnes & Noble Detects Tampering with PIN Pad Devices at Stores

October 24, 2012; New York – Barnes & Noble has detected tampering with PIN pad devices used in 63 of its stores. Upon detecting evidence of tampering, which was limited to one compromised PIN pad in each of the affected stores, Barnes & Noble discontinued use of all PIN pads in its nearly 700 stores nationwide. The company also notified federal law enforcement authorities, and has been supporting a federal government investigation into the matter.Barnes & Noble has completed an internal investigation that involved the inspection and validation of every PIN pad in every store.  The tampering, which affected fewer than 1% of PIN pads in Barnes & Noble stores, was a sophisticated criminal effort to steal credit card information, debit card information, and debit card PIN numbers from customers who swiped their cards through PIN pads when they made purchases.  This situation involved only purchases in which a customer swiped a credit or debit card in a store using one of the compromised PIN pads.

The company emphasized that its customer database is secure. Purchases on Barnes & Noble.com, NOOK and NOOK mobile apps were not affected. The member database was also not affected. None of the affected PIN pads was discovered at Barnes & Noble College Bookstores.

Barnes & Noble is continuing to assist federal law enforcement authorities in this matter. In addition, the company is working with banks, payment card brands and issuers to identify accounts that may have been compromised, so banks and issuers can employ enhanced fraud security measures on potentially impacted accounts.

The criminals planted bugs in the tampered PIN pad devices, allowing for the capture of credit card and PIN numbers.  Barnes & Noble disconnected all PIN pads from its stores nationwide by close of business September 14, and customers can securely shop with credit cards through the company’s cash registers.  Barnes & Noble said it is committed to providing customers with a safe shopping environment.

Tampered PIN pads were discovered from stores in the following states: CA, CT, FL, IL, MA, NJ, NY, PA, RI. A complete list of specific stores follows.

Store Address

City

State

Zip

4735 Commons Way

Calabasas

CA

91302
2470 Tuscany Street Suite 101

Corona

CA

92881
2015 Birch Road Suite 700

Chula Vista

CA

91915
313 Corte Madera Town Center

Corte Madera

CA

94925
5604 Bay Street

Emeryville

CA

94608
810 West Valley Parkway

Escondido

CA

92025
1315 E. Gladstone Street

Glendora

CA

91740
5183 Montclair Plaza Lane

Montclair

CA

91763
894 Marsh St Bldg G

San Luis Obispo

CA

93401
2615 Vista Way

Oceanside

CA

92054
72-840 Highway 111 Suite 425

Palm Desert

CA

92260
27460 West Lugonia Ave

Redlands

CA

92374
1150 El Camino Real Space 277

San Bruno

CA

94066
10775 Westview Parkway

San Diego

CA

92126
3600 Stevens Creek Blvd

San Jose

CA

95117
11 West Hillsdale Blvd.

San Mateo

CA

94403
9938 Mission Gorge Road

Santee

CA

92071
40570 Winchester Rd

Temecula

CA

92591
4820 Telephone Road

Ventura

CA

93003
1149 S. Main St.

Walnut Creek

CA

94596
470 Universal Drive North

North Haven

CT

06473
100 Greyrock Place Suite H009

Stamford

CT

06901
60 Isham Road

W. Hartford

CT

06107
18711 NE Biscayne Blvd

Aventura

FL

33180
333 N. Congress Avenue

Boynton Beach

FL

33436
152 Miracle Mile

Coral Gables

FL

33134
1900 W International Spdway

Daytona Beach

FL

32114
2051 N. Federal Highway

Fort Lauderdale

FL

33305
12405 N Kendall Drive

Miami

FL

33186
11380 Legacy Ave

Palm Beach Gardens

FL

33410
14572 SW 5th St Suite 10140

Pembroke Pines

FL

33027
11820 Pines Blvd

Pembroke Pines

FL

33026
5701 Sunset Drive Suite 196

S. Miami

FL

33143
700 Rosemary Ave Unit #104

West Palm Beach

FL

33401
1441 West Webster Avenue

Chicago

IL

60614
1130 North State Street

Chicago

IL

60610
5380 Route 14

Crystal Lake

IL

60014
20600 North Rand Road

Deer Park

IL

60010
728 North Waukegan Road

Deerfield

IL

60015
1630 Sherman Avenue

Evanston

IL

60201
1468 Springhill Mall Blvd

W. Dundee

IL

60118
170 Boylston Street

Chestnut Hill

MA

02467
96 Derby Street Suite 300

Hingham

MA

02043
82 Providence Highway

East Walpole

MA

2032
395 Route 3 East

Clifton

NJ

07014
55 Parsonage Road

Edison

NJ

08837
2134 State Highway 35

Holmdel

NJ

07733
4831 US Hwy 9

Howell

NJ

07731
23-80 Bell Blvd.

Bayside

NY

11360
176-60 Union Turnpike

Fresh Meadows

NY

11366
1542 Northern Blvd

Manhasset

NY

11030
160 E 54th Street (Citicorp)

New York

NY

10022
2289 Broadway

New York

NY

10024
33 East 17th Street (Union Square)

New York

NY

10003
555 Fifth Ave

New York

NY

10017
2245 Richmond Avenue

Staten Island

NY

10314
230 Main St

White Plains

NY

10601
97 Warren Street

New York

NY

10007
100 West Bridge Street

Homestead

PA

15120
800 Settlers Ridge Center Drive

Pittsburgh

PA

15205
1311 West Main Road

Middleton

RI

02842
371 Putnam Pike Suite 330

Smithfield

RI

02917
1350-B Bald Hill Rd

Warwick

RI

02886

As a precaution, customers and employees who have swiped their cards at any of the Barnes & Noble stores with affected PIN pads should take the following steps:

Debit Card Users:

  • Change the PIN numbers on their debit cards
  • Review their accounts for unauthorized transactions
  • Notify their banks immediately if they discover any unauthorized purchases or withdrawals

Credit Card Users:

  • Review their statements for any unauthorized transactions
  • Notify their card-issuing banks if they discover any unauthorized purchases or cash advances
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Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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