Supermarket chains Supervalu, Albertons and Jewel-Osco have joined the illustrious list of large retailers hacked (presumably) for their vast datastores of shopper identities and credit card information. Investigation is still ongoing in both cases as to whether hackers actually managed to retrieve shopper data during the breaches, and whether the data is being used illegally elsewhere. Though the details of the hacks have not been revealed, security analysts are speculating that the hackers probably compromised point-of-sale machines, similar to the attacks that breached Target in 2013.
What this means for you:
As you can imagine, based upon the difficulties of trying to secure your own personal devices, securing a large network of heavily used and highly exposed computers is tricky business. Even the slightest misstep can lead to cybercriminals pouncing on you like a pack of wild hyenas. Large chains like the ones affected above are continuously under attack from multiple vectors primarily because of the type of data hackers absolutely know they have. The best way to descibe the current war between corporate enterprise and cybercriminals would be that of a siege, with the “good guys” turtling up behind walls that being hammered on relentlessly. And as in any siege, even the smallest breach of that wall can lead to a complete razing of the besieged. Unfortunately, the good guys are struggling to innovate as fast as the bad guys who are heavily invested in winning these types of battles, as the stakes can result in huge payoffs in stolen credentials.
As mentioned, none of the supermarket chains have verified that data has been stolen, but if you happen to shop at any of the listed establishments with your credit card, you may want to consider having your credit card company issue you a new number.