Under 1.5 Million Hit by Credit-Card Breach: Global Payments

A recent data breach may affect less than 1.5 million credit cards in North America, according to the card processor involved.

Credit card and magnifying glass
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Credit card and magnifying glass

Visaand Mastercardannounced Friday that they had notified their cardholders of the potential for identity theft and illicit charges because of the breach. The card processor, Global Payments, put a number on those who could be affected late Sunday.

Global Payments said that credit card data may have been stolen, but that cardholder names, addresses and social security numbers were not obtained. Both Visa and Mastercard said Friday that their own systems had not been compromised.

Global payments said that, based on forensic analysis to date, network monitoring and added security measures, it believes the incident has been contained.

"We are open for business and continue to process transactions for all of the card brands," Global Payments Chairman and CEO Paul Garcia said.

Aside from the U.S., Global Payments provides its services to government agencies, businesses and others in Canada, Europe and the Asia-Pacific region.

The company said it continues to work with regulators, industry third parties and law enforcement to help in the effort to minimize the potential impact on credit cardholders.

Last June, hackers stole information for 360,000 credit card accounts at Citigroup .

In the past year, there have been high-profile data attacks against the International Monetary Fund , National Public Radio, Google and Sony's PlayStation Network.