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Mastercard, $MA, Warns Over a Data Breach


MasterCard Inc. MA -0.95% said Friday that it is investigating a possible breach of cardholder account data involving a U.S.-based payment processor.

The Purchase, N.Y., credit-card company said law enforcement has been notified of the matter and an “independent data security organization” is conducting an ongoing forensic review of the matter. The company is alerting card-issuing banks regarding “certain MasterCard accounts that are potentially at risk.”

“MasterCard’s own systems have not been compromised in any manner,” a company spokesman said.

The spokesman declined to say how many cards may have been compromised or how many banks it is notifying.

The breach was reported early Friday by the Krebs On Security blog, which also said that Visa Inc. V -0.64% was also notifying banks about a breach involving a third-party payment processor.

Representatives for Visa couldn’t immediately be reached for comment Friday morning.

Visa and MasterCard don’t lend or issue cards to consumers; rather, they process transactions for banks that issue their cards and those that handle transactions for merchants.

Representatives of several banks, including Bank of America Corp. BAC -0.72% andJ.P. Morgan Chase JPM +0.13% & Co., either couldn’t be reached for comment or declined to comment Friday morning.

MasterCard said it will “continue to both monitor this event and take steps to safeguard account information.”

Cardholders who are concerned about their accounts should contact the banks that issued them their cards, the company said.”

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