#CyberFLASH: Hacking fears close photo websites

TXMCA204-120_2014_152032_highCostco Canada has joined Walmart Canada and two major U.S. drug store chains in shuttering their online photo websites in the wake of a possible data breach at the supplier.

The retailers say their photo sites remain shut down as a precaution. All four sites are administered by Vancouver-based PNI Digital Media, which is owned by Staples Inc.

Customers of Costco Canada would not be affected by the potential breach as the photo site doesn’t accept credit card payments, the retailer said in a statement on its website.

However, Costco said it has suspended access to its online photo sites both in Canada and the U.S. as a temporary precaution.

“This decision does not affect any other Costco website or our in-store operations, including in-store photo centres,” the statement says.

Rite Aid Corp., a U.S. drug store chain, said it has taken down its photo site even though its customer credit card information isn’t processed by PNI. CVS Corp., another U.S. drug store retailer, has also taken its photo website offline

Late last week, Staples acknowledged that PNI was investigating a potential credit card data security issue, but has declined to say how many companies or customers could be affected.

“We take the protection of information very seriously,” Staples said in an email response to The Toronto Star on Monday. “PNI is investigating a potential credit card data issue, and outside security experts are assisting in the investigation. If an issue is discovered, it is important to note that consumers are not responsible for any fraudulent activity on their credit cards that is reported on a timely basis.”

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