Sears Holdings Detects Data Breach at Kmart Unit

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Retailer Sears Holdings Corp (SHLD) said the payment data system at its Kmart unit had been breached, and that certain debit and credit card numbers could have been compromised.

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The data hacking at Kmart discount stores comes after a slew of data breaches at U.S. companies over the last two years.

Earlier this month, it was revealed that personal data from 83 million households and small business accounts were exposed when computer systems at JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM) were compromised, making it one of the biggest data breaches in history.

Kmart, which launched an investigation into the hacking, apologized to its customers on Friday and said it was working with federal authorities, banking partners and security firms in the probe.

Sears, whose shares were little changed in extended trading, said there was no evidence that kmart.com had been compromised.

The investigation, which indicates the breach began in September, revealed that no personal information, debit card PIN numbers, email addresses and social security numbers were obtained by the hackers.

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Bond insurer MBIA (MBI) also reported a server breach this month that compromised the data of thousands of local U.S. government entities.

On Thursday, restaurant chain Dairy Queen, owned by Berkshire Hathaway Inc (NYSE:BRKa), confirmed that it may have compromised payment card information of customers across 46 U.S. states.

Other widespread breaches include those of Target Corp (TGT), Home Depot Inc (HD), Michaels Stores Inc and Neiman Marcus.

(Reporting by Yashaswini Swamynathan and Natalie Grover In Bangalore; Editing by Maju Samuel)