Vera Bradley card payment system hacked

FILE - A display of handbags in the showroom at the Vera Bradley facility in Fort Wayne, Ind., Friday, April 7, 2006. Sales have climbed 30 percent each of the past five years, thanks in part to a recent surge in popularity among teenagers and college students. (AP Photos/Michael Conroy)

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) Vera Bradley has fallen victim to a data security issue that reportedly impacted customers at its retail stores.

The Fort Wayne-based global retailer said Wednesday that hackers gained access to its payment processing system. A note on Vera Bradley’s website said payment cards used at its stores between July 25 and Sept. 23 may have been affected.

Vera Bradley officials said they were notified by police on Sept. 15 of a “potential data security issue” with the company’s retail store network. Vera Bradley has 120 stores in 32 states.

According to Vera Bradley, after it learned of the breach, the company notified payment card networks and with a computer security firm, launched an investigation.

That investigation found hackers gained access to the company’s payment processing system. It also found a program designed to find track data in the magnetic stripe of a payment card had been installed.

Vera Bradley said only cards used at its retail stores between July 25 and Sept. 23 were affected. Not all cards that were taken at those stores during the period were at risk, the company said. Cards used on verabradley.com were not impacted.

“Vera Bradley has stopped this incident, and we continue to work with the computer security firm to further strengthen the security of our systems to help prevent this from happening again,” Vera Bradley wrote on its website.

Vera Bradley urged customers to report any unauthorized charges to the card issuer.