Visa Outage & Global Payments Breach

Visa had a “brief” authorization network outage on Sunday lasting for about 45 minutes as reported CNET. This is the longest outage in memory, perhaps, in Visa’s history given their redundancy systems are over seven layers deep. Although unprecedented and surprising, it will have nominal long term impact, unless we experience further outages.

In unrelated news, a story broke last Friday that Global Payments (GPN) had a computer intrusion that “may” have exposed track 2 data for 1.5 million U.S. cardholders. GPN reassured investors and customers yesterday on a conference call that the breach was “contained” and limited. However, Visa reported last week that the beach exposed track 1 and track 2 data and security blog post reported that the duration of the breach was much longer than what GPN reported yesterday. We found some of the discrepancies with Visa and Global Payments statements surprising. If they are both looking at the same set of data then they should reach the similar conclusions. Granted, the forensic analysis is ongoing and all the facts are not in clear view so the final analysis may change. But given that Visa’s and Global Payments’ statements were a few days apart, the discrepancies are noteworthy and require better explanation than what has been provided. It will be interested to watch this story unfold.

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