Heartland Slowly But Steadily Settles IT Breach Lawsuits

Tops $140 million In Costs

1 min read
Heartland Slowly But Steadily Settles IT Breach Lawsuits

In late 2008, a security breach at the nation’s fifth largest payments processor Heartland Payment Systems of Princeton, New Jersey resulted in the theft of over 130 million credit and debit card accounts. It is still the largest single data security breach ever reported.

Since the breach, Heartland has been slowly but steadily resolving the many lawsuits that were brought against it. This week, Heartland announced that it and Mastercard have agreed to a $41.4 million dollar settlement.

This brings the total Heartland has committed to pay out to around $140 million, according to ComputerWorld. As the ComputerWorld story notes, this is still only a little more than half of the estimated cost of the 2006 TJX breach, which the hackers of Heartland were also responsible for.

In the face of statistics published earlier this year by the Ponemon Institute on the cost of data breaches, Heartland has come out on the cheap end of the curve. According to the Institute's figures, in 2008, the average cost of a data breach was around $202 per record compromised.   

You can read the various settlements that Heartland has reached over the past 18 months here. The web site Bank Info Security has a map showing the number of institutions affected by the Heartland breach here.

The "mastermind" behind the data breach, Albert Gonzalez, was sentenced to serve two consecutive 20 years prison sentences in March of this year for his role in the TJX and Heartland hack attacks. A Gonzalez associate was sentenced to 5 years in April. Four others have also been sentenced for their parts in the crime (see here, for example).

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An IBM Quantum Computer Will Soon Pass the 1,000-Qubit Mark

The Condor processor is just one quantum-computing advance slated for 2023

4 min read
This photo shows a woman working on a piece of apparatus that is suspended from the ceiling of the laboratory.

A researcher at IBM’s Thomas J. Watson Research Center examines some of the quantum hardware being constructed there.

Connie Zhou/IBM

IBM’s Condor, the world’s first universal quantum computer with more than 1,000 qubits, is set to debut in 2023. The year is also expected to see IBM launch Heron, the first of a new flock of modular quantum processors that the company says may help it produce quantum computers with more than 4,000 qubits by 2025.

This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

While quantum computers can, in theory, quickly find answers to problems that classical computers would take eons to solve, today’s quantum hardware is still short on qubits, limiting its usefulness. Entanglement and other quantum states necessary for quantum computation are infamously fragile, being susceptible to heat and other disturbances, which makes scaling up the number of qubits a huge technical challenge.

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