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Regional casino chain suffers data breach

Four Winds Casinos, a Michigan casino chain, recently announced a data breach that lasted for a year.
Four Winds Casinos, a Michigan casino chain, recently announced a data breach that lasted for a year.

A Michigan casino chain recently announced a data breach that lasted for a year.

The Four Winds Casino is currently informing customers who visited its New Buffalo, Hartford and Dowagiac, Michigan, casinos between October 2014 and October 2015 that their credit and debit card information may have been compromised. A fourth site, an affiliate in the Bent Tree Market service station in Dowagiac, was also included in the breach, according to the Herald Palladium.

The Palladium explained that a breach was discovered on Oct. 2, 2015, when a bank informed the casino of a pattern of fraudulent activity with cards used at the Four Winds locations. After the notice, officials at Four Winds launched an investigation, soon discovering a program installed in its systems that searched for payment information as it was passed through the network.

"The program specifically searched for data found in the magnetic stripe of payment cards, which includes cardholder name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code," the casino stated in a press release.

As the investigation is still ongoing, the number of cards affected is still unknown.

Once the program was removed on Oct. 21, Four Winds implemented additional security measures so that a similar attack could not compromise its systems in the future.

This attack shows the importance of data security in disaster recovery planning. As credit card security becomes better, hackers will increase their efforts using existing methods, like pulling data from magnetic stripe cards, while they still can.

Companies that have yet to develop their own disaster recovery strategy can partner with a business continuity consultant that has extensive experience with these issues.

If your retail company in need of new credit card processing software, be sure to contact 911 Software today.