News Feature | August 21, 2014

Supervalu Suffers Security Breach

Source: Innovative Retail Technologies

By Brianna Ahearn, contributing writer

Supervalu Data Breach

As we learn more about the continuing effect of Target's security breach, a new company has announced their consumers' data has been stolen. Joining Target and Neiman Marcus in this unfortunate club is the grocery store chain SuperValu. A SuperValu press release on August 14 announced that data from multiple locations of its stores may have been compromised between June 22 through July 17. The data breach was due to a “criminal infiltration into the portion of the computer network that processes card transactions,” according to the company's press release.

“The intrusion was identified by our internal team, it was quickly contained, and we have had no evidence of any misuse of any customer data,” says SuperValu President and CEO Sam Duncan in a statement published on the SuperValu website on August. The retailer published the news on their site, and provided a list of the stores impacted. The list includes the company's affiliated stores such as Cub Foods, Hornbacher's, Shop N Save, and Shoppers, plus some of the chain's stand-alone liquor stores. The affected stores are all across the United States. SuperValu has 3,400 owned and franchised stores in all.

The company wants customers to rest assured knowing SuperValu is addressing the issue. “I regret any inconvenience that this may cause our customers but want to assure them that it is safe to shop in our stores,” says Duncan.

The announcement was made out of an abundance of caution,” says the SuperValu press release. “Upon recognition of the intrusion, the Company took immediate steps to secure the affected part of its network. An investigation supported by third-party data forensics experts is on-going to understand the nature and scope of the incident. SuperValu believes the intrusion has been contained and is confident that its customers can safely use their credit and debit cards in its stores.”

SuperValu has yet to name how many customers were affected, but retail and data analysts put the number in the millions given the breach's timespan. As the latest incident of data breaches in the retail industry, the SuperValu breach isn't as big as Target's, but exposed some vulnerabilities in the company's security.

On August 20, Forbes reported up to 1,000 stores may have been impacted and added that shortly after the announcement, AB Acquisition LLC reported their stores had a similar breach during the same dates. The stores affected in this incident were formerly owned by SuperValu and the retailer was the company's IT supplier for Albertson's LLC, Acme Markets, Jewel-Osco, Shaw's and Star Markets. AB Acquisition LLC is currently working with SuperValu to identify what happened and what stores were affected. Further news on the scope of the breach should be available in the upcoming weeks.