California DMV Investigates Report of Credit Card Breach

By NBC Bay Area Staff and Wires
|  Monday, Mar 24, 2014  |  Updated 3:55 AM PDT
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DMV Investigates Report of Credit Card Breach

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Credit Card breach at California DMV.

The California Department of Motor Vehicles is investigating reports of a potential credit card breach for transactions conducted online, the agency said Saturday.

KrebsOnSecurity.com was the first to report the possible breach, which it says involved online payments from Aug. 2, 2013, to Jan. 31, 2014.

Armando Botello, public information officer of the California DMV, said that the agency had been alerted by law enforcement authorities to a "potential security issue within its credit card processing service."

"There is no evidence at this time of a direct breach of the DMV’s computer system," Botello said. "However, out of an abundance of caution and in the interest of protecting the sensitive information of California drivers, the DMV has opened an investigation into any potential security breach in conjunction with state and federal law enforcement."

Botello said that the department is performing a forensic review of its systems and seeking information regarding any potential breach from both the external vendor that processes the DMV’s credit card transactions and the credit card companies themselves.

Seth Elsen, a spokesman from MasterCard, said that the company is also investigating reports of a potential breach at the California DMV.

Eisen said the breach is not with MasterCard's systems.

Eisen said MasterCard has sent out alerts to member banks. He advised consumers to review their accounts and contact their card issuer for assistance.

Botello said that the DMV would notify any affected DMV customers as quickly as possible if it identifies any issue. 

"Protecting the identity and security of our customers is our highest priority and we fully understand the potential impact any breach of security can have," Botello said. "The department has implemented heightened monitoring of all DMV website traffic and credit card transactions."

Botello said that the DMV would notify any affected DMV customers as quickly as possible if it identifies any issue.

In the meanwhile, DMV customers can continue to pay with cash, check or money order in person at their local DMV office.

For more information on identity fraud and how to protect yourself, check out the DMV Identity Fraud factsheet.

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