An informal online poll conducted by the Independent Community Bankers of America (ICBA) found that only four per cent of participating members have not been affected by the Heartland Payment Systems card data breach.
In January, Heartland announced that it had found malicious software in its processing system, potentially compromising the card data of millions of people.
ICBA, which represents the interests of some 5000 community banks, conducted the online poll in late January. Of the 512 responses, 60% reported debit card exposure, two per cent credit cards, and just over a fifth had problems with both debit and credit. While 12% did not yet know whether they had been affected by the breach, only four per cent claimed not to have had any cards compromised in the incident.
While Heartland has yet to issue any definitive data count of the numbers at risk from the breach, the ICBA poll implies that potential thousands of institutions have been caught up in the fall-out.
According to its Website, Heartland serves more than 250,000 businesses around the country and handles over four billion transactions a year. The malware is thought to have been present on its network for some time before it was discovered.
Published data gathered by the Open Security Foundation (OSF) states that to date, 79 banks have reportedly been affected by the breach, from a known total of 276,066 cards.