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News briefs

Merchants scrambled to meet Visa's deadline to reach Payment Card Industry

The nearly 330 retailers who qualify as Level One merchants, meaning they process more than six million credit card transactions each year, attempted to meet a 12-step standard by Sept. 30.

Forty percent of Level One merchants were compliant by July, according to Visa.

Two congressmen asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to investigate cyberattacks against government systems managed by Unisys.

Reps. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., and James Langevin, D-R.I., sent a letter to Richard Skinner, DHS inspector general, indicating that DHS systems are being attacked by hackers.

 In a statement, Unisys defended its record of protecting government systems.

A video created by the Idaho National Laboratory to simulate a cyberattack on an electrical grid was released to the press.

The video showed a hacker-controlled turbine shaking wildly until pieces broke off and plumes
of smoke filled a test lab.

Amit Yoran, chief executive officer, NetWitness, said, “The techniques, the methodologies, the insight and the belief that this is possible have existed.”

The Canadian government, after an eight month study, determined that TJX collected and stored unnecessary amounts of data and relied on outdated encryption technology to protect personal information prior to its massive data breach.

The report also indicated that hackers initially gained access into the company's central database through two Marshalls locations in Miami, contrary to the widely believed theory that hackers gained the personal information from Minnesota locations.

TJX settled a lawsuit with customers by offering, in part, vouchers valued at $30 to $80, and a three-day sale.

Customers can also take advantage of a 72-hour sale.

“You've got to hand it to TJX,” said Mary Monahan, partner and analyst with Javelin Strategy and Research. “They took the largest data breach in history and turned the conversation into offering $30 vouchers right before Christmas.”

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