(El Paso Times (TX) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) March 29--Spec's, a Houston-based chain of liquor stores, said Friday a customer data breach affected about half a million customers at 34 locations, including four in El Paso.
Those El Paso locations affected were at Spec's stores on 7933 North Mesa and 5100 Montana and Cowtown Discount Liquor stores at 11411 Gateway Boulevard West and 4804 Doniphan Drive, which has closed.
A cyber attack on customer information began October 31, 2012 and may have continued until May 20 of this year. Information on customers' debit and credit cards as well as check information may have been affected.
Jenifer Sarver, a spokeswoman for Spec's, said the company is working with the Secret Service to track down those responsible for the attack.
"Until this week, the Secret Service had asked us to hold off on making the disclosure because they are tracking the criminal," she said. "They released us from that hold this week, so we made the disclosure so customers that may have been affected can determine if they are in this universe of people."
Sarver said the company estimated "fewer than 550,000 customers" were affected at the 34 stores. She said information was not available about the number of customers at specific stores who may be affected.
The company is providing a year of free fraud resolution services with All Clear ID to those customers who were affected. Information about those services can be found at https://specsonline.allclearid.com.
A customer hotline is also available at 1-855-731-6017.
Spec's owns 155 liquor stores across the state. Most of the locations affected by the data breach were in Houston, The Woodlands, College Station or Corpus Christi and El Paso.
"We are deeply distressed about this incident and sincerely apologize for the worry and inconvenience this may cause you," said owners John and Lindy Rydman in a statement. "Our customers are our highest priority and we are working hard to ensure that safety of your data and maintain your confidence."
Andrew Kreighbaum may be reached at 546-6127.
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