Southern California Albertsons stores hit by data breach

A customer walks by an Albertsons store on Sept. 6, 2012.
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

The Albertsons grocery chain said Friday that hackers attempted to obtain customer credit and debit card information from its approximately 180 Southern California stores, as well as those in several other states.

The data breach started as early as June 22 and ended July 17 at the latest, Albertsons said.

Albertsons, based in Boise, Idaho, said it has no evidence any customer data was misused, or even stolen. The company said it believes that the breach has been contained, and that customers can safely use their cards in its stores.

The breach is the latest to hit large U.S. retailers, including Target Corp., and has renewed concerns about the safety of credit card information. The threat extends beyond big business -- smaller independent shops have been hit by cyber theft as well, according to a California database.

Millions of U.S. consumers have had their financial data exposed in the last year.


In the latest breach, Albertsons said stores in Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and southern Utah were also affected.

Federal law enforcement has been notified and an investigation is underway, the firm said.

The company said it is offering customers who may have been affected by the breach a year of complimentary identity-protection services. For more information, customers can call (877) 932-7948 or visit Albertsons’ website.

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