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Michaels Stores Inc., which includes subsidiary Aaron Brothers, announced the recently disclosed data breaches have exposed as many as three million customer accounts, including payment card information.

“In January, the Company learned of possible fraudulent activity on some U.S. payment cards that had been used at Michaels stores…” a press release stated. “After weeks of analysis, the Company discovered evidence confirming that systems of Michaels stores in the United States and its subsidiary, Aaron Brothers, were attacked by criminals using highly sophisticated malware that had not been encountered previously by either of the security firms.”

Michaels Stores had revealed in late January that it was investigating a potential security breach involving customers’ credit card information. The arts and crafts store chain has 1,000 retail stores across the United States and Canada.

“The Company has now identified and fully contained the incident, and the malware no longer presents a threat while shopping at Michaels or Aaron Brothers. During the course of the investigation, the Company has determined the following:”

  • The affected systems contained certain payment card information, such as payment card number and expiration date, about both Michaels and Aaron Brothers customers. There is no evidence that other customer personal information, such as name, address or PIN, was at risk in connection with this issue.
  • Regarding Michaels stores, the attack targeted a limited portion of the point-of-sale systems at a varying number of stores between May 8, 2013 and January 27, 2014. Only a small percentage of payment cards used in the affected stores during the times of exposure were impacted by this issue. The analysis conducted by the security firms and the Company shows that approximately 2.6 million cards may have been impacted, which represents about 7% of payment cards used at Michaels stores in the U.S. during the relevant time period. The locations and potential dates of exposure for each affected Michaels store are listed on www.michaels.com.
  • Regarding Aaron Brothers, the Company has confirmed that between June 26, 2013 and February 27, 2014, 54 Aaron Brothers stores were affected by this malware. The Company estimates that approximately 400,000 cards were potentially impacted during this period. The locations for each affected Aaron Brothers store are listed on www.aaronbrothers.com.
  • The Company has received a limited number of reports from the payment card brands and banks of fraudulent use of payment cards potentially connected to Michaels or Aaron Brothers.

“In an era where very sophisticated and determined criminals have proven capable of successfully attacking a wide range of computer networks, we must all increase our level of vigilance,” said said Chuck Rubin, CEO. “Michaels is committed to working with all appropriate parties to improve the security of payment card transactions for all consumers.”

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