American Express issued a notice of data breach

Pierluigi Paganini March 17, 2016

American Express is informing cardholders that their payment card data may have been exposed after a third-party service provider suffered a security breach.

Another illustrious victim of a data breach is in the headlines, this time, American Express is warning Cardholders of a possible incident occurred to a third party service provider. The name of the affected service provider has not been made public.

According to the American Express, data associated with current or previously issued American Express cards might have been stolen by hackers. The information obtained by unauthorized parties includes account numbers, names, and expiration dates.

“We became aware that a third party service provider engaged by numerous merchants experienced unauthorized access to its system. Account information of some of our Card Members, including some of your account information, may have been involved. It is important to note that American Express owned or controlled systems were not compromised by this incident, and we are providing this notice to you as a precautionary measure.” states a data breach notice published by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of California DoJ.

American Express highlighted that its financial systems were not affected by the incident, in order to prevent abuse the company is monitoring of fraudulent activities that might affect cardholders.

American Express Co. credit cards are arranged for a photograph in New York, U.S., on Monday, April 15, 2013. American Express Co., the biggest U.S. credit-card issuer by purchases, named Edward P. Gilligan to become its president, effective immediately. Photographer: Scott Eells/Bloomberg via Getty Images

American Express confirmed that cardholders are not liable for any fraudulent charges, at the same time is inviting them to monitor their account for fraud.

American Express suggests cardholders enabling instant notifications of a potentially fraudulent activity, the company offers it by enabling notifications in the American Express Mobile app, or signing up for email or text messaging at

“WHAT YOU CAN DO. We ask that you carefully review your account for fraudulent activity. Below are some steps you can take to protect your account. Login to your account at to review your account statements carefully and remain vigilant in doing so, especially over the next 12 to 24 months. If your card is active, sign up to receive instant notifications of potential suspicious activity by enabling Notifications in the American Express Mobile app, or signing up for email or text messaging at Please make sure your mobile phone number and email address are also on file for us to contact you if needed. OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION. Included with this letter are some additional helpful tips and steps you can take to protect yourself against the risks of fraud and identity theft.” states the notice.

Incidents like this remark the importance of cyber security for the entire chain of custody with sensitive data, an incident at some point in the chain could compromise the entire process.

In this specific case, American Express relies on a third party service that has been breached causing the exposure of the confidential information.

If you are an AMEX cardholder remain vigilant.

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Pierluigi Paganini

(Security Affairs – American Express, data breach)

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