Processor: Breach impacted less than 1.5M cards

(AP) ATLANTA - A credit card processor says that a recent data breach may affect less than 1.5 million cards in North America.

Visa and Mastercard announced Friday that they had notified users of the potential for identity theft and illicit charges because of the breach. The card processor, Global Payments put a number on those who could be affected late Sunday.

Global Payments says that cardholder names, addresses and social security numbers were not obtained. Both Visa and Mastercard said Friday that their own systems had not been compromised.

Global Payments Inc. now says it believes the incident is contained based on forensic analysis to date, network monitoring and added security measures.

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Global Payments stock was halted after published reports said it was responsible. The stock fell 9 percent for the day before trading was stopped.

Credit card companies generally protect customers against fraudulent transactions, and Visa said specifically Friday that its U.S. customers were not at risk.

Last June, hackers stole information for 360,000 credit card accounts at Citigroup. In the past year, there have been high-profile data attacks against the International Monetary Fund, National Public Radio, Google and Sony's PlayStation Network.

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