NASSAU, Bahamas, Thursday, February 28, 2013 – Financial institutions across the Bahamas were on high alert this past week as they scrambled to protect the funds of thousands of consumers whose credit cards were compromised by a major data breach.
Unconfirmed media reports point to the theft of a data tape from an international data acquiring company based in Barbados as the source of the breach.
According to the Guardian, Visa and MasterCard credit cards were impacted, prompting banks in The Bahamas to re-issue thousands of cards.
“All Bahamian banks had their card data compromised. This theft took place elsewhere and we were notified by Visa on Friday,” Anwer Sunderji, CEO of Fidelity Bank (Bahamas) reportedly told the Guardian.
Paul McWeeney, the managing director at Bank of The Bahamas, said credit card companies and the Central Bank called all major financial institutions to warn them of the breach. The bank will replace at least 2,000 credit cards as a defensive measure.
Commonwealth Bank Limited confirmed to the Guardian it could reissue as many as 5,000 replacement cards.
This latest incident comes shortly after The Bahamas was featured on a list of nations being used as a base of operation by hackers.
According to a global research team from Websense Inc, a leader in Internet security, The Bahamas is ranked second among the top five countries in the world which host phishing sites.
Phishing is an act of fraud in which persons fall victim to websites masquerading as trustworthy sites.
The report said that organizations face an average of 1,719 attacks for every 1,000 users. The Bahamas was the only Caribbean nation on the list. Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)