Barnes & Noble warns of nationwide card data theft

Barnes & Noble said that devices used by customers to swipe credit and debit cards have been tampered with in 63 of its stores in nine states.
(Karen Bleier / AFP / Getty Images)

Barnes & Noble, the country’s largest bookseller, said data thieves hacked into payment devices at 63 of its stores nationwide and may have stolen credit and debit card information from customers.

The chain said it discovered that in each of the stores, hackers had planted bugs in one card reader. Customers swipe their payment cards through the readers and, if debit card users, enter their personal identification number, or PIN.

Machines were tampered with in Connecticut, Florida, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. In California, the 20 stores hit included branches in Chula Vista, Calabasas and San Diego.


Though Barnes & Noble said that fewer than 1% of the devices in its system were affected, the company said it disconnected all the PIN pads in its nearly 700 stores after learning of the breach Sept. 14.

Customers must now ask cashiers to process their payment cards using more secure readers attached to cash registers. Patrons of the targeted stores should check their accounts for unapproved transactions and change their PINs, the bookseller urged.

Barnes & Noble said it completed an internal investigation into the “sophisticated criminal effort” and added that federal authorities are now looking into the crime. The company said it is also collaborating with banks, payment card brands and issuers to identify which customer accounts were attacked.

The chain stressed that its customer database is safe and that purchases made through its website or using its Nook devices and app were unaffected.

The California stores hit are listed below. A full nationwide list is available here.

  • 4735 Commons Way, Calabasas 91302
  • 2470 Tuscany St. Suite 101, Corona 92881
  • 2015 Birch Road Suite 700, Chula Vista 91915
  • 313 Corte Madera Town Center, Corte Madera 94925
  • 5604 Bay St., Emeryville 94608
  • 810 West Valley Parkway, Escondido 92025
  • 1315 E. Gladstone St., Glendora 91740
  • 5183 Montclair Plaza Lane, Montclair 91763
  • 894 Marsh St. Bldg G, San Luis Obispo 93401
  • 2615 Vista Way, Oceanside 92054
  • 72-840 Highway 111 Suite 425, Palm Desert 92260
  • 27460 West Lugonia Ave., Redlands 92374
  • 1150 El Camino Real, Space 277, San Bruno 94066
  • 10775 Westview Parkway, San Diego 92126
  • 3600 Stevens Creek Blvd, San Jose 95117
  • 11 West Hillsdale Blvd., San Mateo 94403
  • 9938 Mission Gorge Road, Santee 92071
  • 40570 Winchester Road, Temecula 92591
  • 4820 Telephone Road, Ventura 93003
  • 1149 S. Main St., Walnut Creek 94596


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