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Most Chipotle restaurants hacked with credit card stealing malware

The company first acknowledged the breach on April 25. But a blog post on Friday revealed the kind of malware used in the attack and the restaurants that were affected.

The list of attacked locations is extensive and includes many major U.S. cities. When CNNMoney asked the company Sunday about the scale of the attack, spokesman Chris Arnold said that “most, but not all restaurants may have been involved.”

Chipotle (CMG) said in its blog post that it worked with law enforcement officials and cybersecurity firms on an investigation.

The breaches happened between March 24 and April 18. The malware worked by infecting cash registers and capturing information stored on the magnetic strip on credit cards, called “track data.” Chipotle said track data sometimes includes the cardholder’s name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code.

The company said there is “no indication” that other personal information was stolen.

“During the investigation we removed the malware, and we continue to work with cyber security firms to evaluate ways to enhance our security measures,” the blog post reads.

A list of the restaurants and times they were affected can be found on Chipotle’s website.

The company recommended that customers scan their credit card statements for potentially fraudulent purchases. It also said victims should contact the Federal Trade Commission, the attorney general in their home states or their local police department.

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BlackBerry reports large second quarter loss

Struggling smartphone maker BlackBerry reported a major net second quarter loss Friday and said is is burning cash at a higher rate as it moves to execute a tentative deal that could take the company private.

Revenue for the quarter ended Aug. 31 was $1.6 billion, with a net loss of $965 million, or $1.84 a share. That compares with revenue of $2.9 billion and a loss of $229 million, or 44 cents a share, for the same quarter last year.

Adjusted net loss from continuing operations was $248 million, or 47 cents per share. The per-share loss was on the low side of the 47 cent-to-51-cent range that BlackBerry warned of last week, when it announced preliminary results and plans to lay off 4,500 employees. Wall Street analysts had expected a loss of 49 cents a share.  Read More

‘We were told to lie’ – Bank of America employees open up about foreclosure practices

Justin Sullivan / Getty Images / AFP Employees of Bank of America say they were encouraged to lie to customers and were even rewarded for foreclosing on homes, staffers of the financial giant claim in new court documents.

Sworn statements from several Bank of America employees contain a number of damning allegations, the latest claims entered as evidence in a multi-state class action lawsuit that challenges the bank’s history with foreclosures.

According to testimonies obtained by journalists at ProPublica, supervisors at various Bank of America branches across the United States encouraged employees to regularly deny loan modification applications with no reason. At times, they were told to make up excuses to customers who risked losing their homes.

In one of the sworn statements, an ex-bank staffer said he would be directed to deny upwards of 1,500 loan modification applications at a single time with no apparent reason.

“To justify the denials, employees produced fictitious reasons, for instance saying the homeowner had not sent in the required documents, when in actuality, they had,” William Wilson, Jr., a former underwriter for the bank, wrote in his statement.
Elsewhere in his testimony, Wilson wrote that he was instructed to deny any applications for the Obama administration-created Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) that were older than 60 days, even in instances in

“which the homeowner had provided all required financial documents and fully complied with the terms of a Trial Period Plan.”

Simone Gordon, a senior collector at B of A from 2007 through 2012, said,

“We were told to lie to customers and claim that Bank of America had not received documents it had requested.”

“We were told that admitting that the Bank received documents ‘would open a can of worms,’”

 Gordon said, since the bank was regularly understaffed with regards to the process of reviewing the applications.

An average underwriter at B of A could have 400 outstanding applications awaiting review at any time, Gordon said in her statement. She also said collectors “who placed ten or more accounts into foreclosure in a given month received a $500 bonus.”

“Bank of America also gave employees gift cards to retail stores like Target or Bed Bath and Beyond as rewards for placing accounts into foreclosure,” she said.  Read More

5 Huge Myths About Social Security

Social Security has been providing Americans with old age, disability, and widow and orphan insurance for as many as 77 years. But like so many of today’s crucial financial topics, it’s also shrouded in myth. Here are five big ones.

Myth No. 1: Social Security is going bankrupt
The biggest misunderstanding out there relates to Social Security’s financial challenges. (A Google search for “Social Security bankruptcy” turned up 50 million hits.) But the fact is that Social Security isn’t going bankrupt, nor is bankruptcy really possible as the system is currently set up.

Here’s the source of the confusion: Historically, Social Security has collected more than it paid out. The extra money built up in a trust fund that collects interest. But due to demographic and economic changes (more on that in a minute), it’s expected that insurance payments will begin to exceed income in 2021. Around 2033, the fund will run out.   Read More

Yahoo to selling half its Alibaba stake for $7.1 billion, reaping hefty return on investment

After years of mortifying missteps, Yahoo Inc. finally has something to boast about: a multibillion-dollar windfall from a savvy investment in China.

Yahoo is selling half of its roughly 40 percent stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., one of the most successful companies in China’s rapidly growing Internet market. The $7.1 billion price ensures that Yahoo will get a hefty return from its $1 billion investment in Alibaba in 2005.

The deal, coming a week after Yahoo’s CEO abruptly resigned over misstatements in his official biography, will provide more financial firepower for the latest regime trying to turn around the long-struggling Internet company. It came after more than two years of negotiations on how Yahoo will sell the stake.

Alibaba started out in 1999 as a business-to-business website linking factories in China to buyers around the world. It grew into a company that’s larger than Yahoo, with more than 25,000 employees working at a wide range of websites and online services.

Alibaba’s portfolio includes Taobao.com, China’s version of eBay, and TMall, which brand owners can use to sell directly to consumers. Alibaba also runs a search engine for shoppers and an online payment service.

Things have been going so well at Alibaba that it now accounts for a large portion of Yahoo’s earnings.

While Yahoo has profited from the Alibaba investment, Yahoo’s stock price has plunged by more than 55 percent since the company invested in Alibaba.  Read More

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