Michaels hacking explained by GB computer expert

By Terry Kovarik | terry.kovarik@wearegreenbay.com

Published 04/18 2014 06:46PM

Updated 04/18 2014 07:04PM

GREEN BAY (WFRV) Word that Michaels, and it's subsidiary Aarons Brothers, had information hacked from nearly three-million credit or debit cards nationwide shocked shoppers.

"This is getting ridiculous. It's almost like it's not safe to shop with a credit card anymore," said one woman who regularly shops at the arts and crafts retailer.

That another major retailer would be struck so soon after a similar security breach at Target isn't surprising. Jim Overly of Cyberworks in Green Bay says this is the work of professional hackers, who work day and night to steal such valuable information.

"There are organizations that will buy the credit card numbers with or without the PINs. Because there are programs that will then hack those numbers for the PINs," Overly said.

And there are few clues that hacking is taking place.

"It's happening back in the server level. So when you're at the check out. You don't know if that credit card number is safe or not when you give it to a clerk," Overly said.

But Overly says changing account passwords every 30-days using a combination of upper and lower case letters, symbols and numbers can be priceless.

"It's inconvenient. It's inconvenient for you. It's also inconvenient for the bad guys, he said."

Local 5's Terry Kovarik has the story.

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