Essays on Data Breach at Michael's Company Case Study

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The paper 'Data Breach at Michael's Company' is a good example of a Management Case Study. Michaels Company is one of the largest arts and crafts chain stores in the world. The company reported a data breach at the end of January 2014. Through its press release, the company reported that around 2.6 million cards that were used in payments at the store had potential exposure between May 2013 and January 2014. Additionally, it reported that close to four hundred thousand cards had been affected at Aaron Brother stores between June 2013 and January 2014 (Walters, 2014).

It illustrated that both the credit and debit card numbers and their expiry dates had been severely exposed. Nevertheless, personal information for instance addresses, PINs, and names was safe. The company first acknowledged the possible data breach in January 2014, following the largest data breach recorded in history by Target Company which affected over 100 million customers (Walters, 2014). From the statement posted on the company’ s website on Thursday, the company disclosed that two security firms found evidence of possible data breach at Michaels and its subsidiary, framing company, Aaron Brothers.

The attack at Michaels mostly invaded the point-of-sale systems of the company. The company has 1135 stores and 119 stores of its subsidiary. The disclosure of this data breach was made public from a joint press release and a statement on the company’ s website. According to Irving, a Texas-based Michaels, two independent security firms that they hired to investigate security breach at the company initially found no threat. It took weeks of continuous analysis for the company to realize evidence confirming that their systems and at its subsidiary, Aaron Brothers had been hacked.

The hawkers used highly sophisticated malware that both the two security firms had not encountered before. These cybercriminals planted the malware on cash registers at the company’ s stores across the nation stealing approximately three million debit and credit card numbers of the customers (Cease, 2014). The details about the data breach as revealed by the company was a bit sparse since it was made as part of an ongoing investigation. An important note is that the announcement was made shortly after Brian Krebs, a technology writer, reported that the Company was investigating data breach (Arlitsch & Edelman, 2014).

The first reaction of the retailer was to send notification letters to its impacted customers. The letters directed that the company learned of fraudulent activities on the cards that had previously been used in the company. A crime for cash Financial fraud experts said Michaels Company’ s point-of-sale (POS) attack was waged on cash and not cards. Unlike other massive data breaches against the giant U. S., retailers for instance Target which aimed at stealing debit and credit card numbers and selling in Dark Web, Michaels's attack aimed at compromising the PINS and card numbers to be used in fraudulent ATM withdrawals (Arlitsch & Edelman, 2014).

The perpetrators had to attack the customer's PINs at the terminal since the encryption of the PIN was so strong that after it passed the terminal it was impossible to get the PIN. The Michaels POS swap sounds a low tech scheme but it forms one of the several similar attacks on hundreds of retail stores. This attack confirmed tactics that the company analysts had previously suggested but had not been able to definitely pinpoint.

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