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Barnes and Noble has been hacked, and not in the way we are so used to seeing in this Internet-fueled world. Attackers have actually hacked the PIN pads at retail stores. When a customer used one of the hacked credit card terminals, attackers were able to get access to credit card numbers and PIN codes for debit cards. In all, 63 retail locations around the United States were attacked.

Barnes and Noble has since stopped using those PIN pads at all 700 of its retail locations. It would appear that B&N is taking precautions in case any other locations were hit by the attackers. Barnes and Noble has enlisted local law enforcement and federal government to investigate what exactly happened with this particular attack.

Barnes and Noble made an official statement on the situation that helps put these attacks in a little bit of perspective. “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,” the company said in its statement.

Barnes and Noble says that any purchase made online or through its Nook devices are safe, and that only customers who swiped cards at one of the retail locations are at risk. Barnes and Noble says they are working with “banks, payment card brands and issuers to identify accounts that may have been compromised.”

The tampered PIN pads were found in California, Connecticut, Florida, New Jersey, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island.

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Source: Mashable

Image Credit: Credit card and card reader via Shutterstock

  1. Grr
    October 26, 2012 at 4:10 pm

    this is one of a kind of attack. They could not have managed without some insider

    • Dave LeClair
      October 26, 2012 at 8:15 pm

      That's true, I hadn't really thought of that. It would be tough to get into all those stores without someone who works there being involved.

  2. Mac Witty
    October 26, 2012 at 1:49 pm

    They must be well organized to be able to change the devise in so many stores. Have they done it in other stores/chains, was my first question, scary!

    • Lola Carthy
      October 26, 2012 at 2:15 pm

      I thought the same. Do I need to change my PIN all the time? It feels like carrying a credit card isn't safer than carrying money anymore.

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