neiman marcus hackers

As they gained access and collected customers’ payment card information, the Neiman Marcus hackers set off about 60,000 unnoticed alerts, as reported by Businessweek. The hackers were able to access the company’s computers for nearly eight months and had stolen customers’ payment card data from July to October of last year.

Why did the alerts go unnoticed for so long?

The alerts mainly went unnoticed because the hackers purposely gave the malware similar names to the Neiman Marcus payment software, with the intention for the alerts to go unnoticed, as they did for three and one-half months, according to Businessweek. A spokesperson for the company also explained that the alerts set off by hackers were around less than 1 percent of the daily entries reported to the security team, which it explained as another reason as to why the alerts were missed.

Was this breach related to the Target breach?

Neiman Marcus’ investigation found that the hackers were not related to the Target hackers. The Neiman Marcus hackers used much more sophisticated skills and coding. They even went as far as to automatically delete the malware from the POS system each day, which means it had to regularly be reloaded into the system. On the other hand, in the middle of February KrebsOnSecurity revealed that a phishing email to a third-party vendor led to the Target breach.

How many cards were actually stolen?

On top of all of the details about the hackers, the company’s investigation also found that less cards were impacted by the breach than the 1.1 million originally reported. Now, the company said the number of cards exposed in the breach totals to 350,000 with 9,200 of those cards being used for fraud since the breach.

What can I do to protect myself?

If you shopped at Neiman Marcus from July to October, then you should follow all of the steps detailed below to ensure that your financial and personal information remain safe.

1. Sign up for identity theft protection: This is a step that both Neiman Marcus and Target are recommending. The retail stores are offering their customers a one-year subscription to ProtectMyID, however this service is not enough to protect their customers’ identities because it not only falls short in terms of credit report monitoring, but also in terms of identity monitoring. Get all of the details about ProtectMyID‘s second-rate service as well as learn which services will better protect your credit and identity.

2. Check your statements carefully: Since the Neiman Marcus hackers may have had your information since July, it’s essential that you go through all of your bank and credit card statements to make sure you were the one to complete all of the transactions. If you notice any unfamiliar or possibly fraudulent transactions, you should call your bank and report them immediately. A bank representative will be able to walk you through the fraud-reporting process.

3. Inquire about a new credit or debit card: If you find fraudulent transactions on your statement, then this is a step that the bank will require you to take. That being said, if you do not have confirmed fraud on your account, then the bank may not be willing to reissue you a card, yet there’s no harm in asking. Considering that 350,000 cards were exposed and only 9,200 have been used for fraud, there’s still about 340,800 cards that either can be used for fraud or have already been reissued. If you’re one of the cards that still has the same card number, then you’re putting yourself more at-risk for fraudulent use.

If you think you’ve already fallen victim to identity theft, then you’ll want to follow the steps detailed on this blog post to restore your credit and good name.