Hannaford fixes card processing, some ‘isolated’ issues possible today

Shoppers leave a Hannaford grocery store in Topsham in 2009.
Robert F. Bukaty | AP
Shoppers leave a Hannaford grocery store in Topsham in 2009.
Posted June 22, 2012, at 11:38 a.m.

The computer problem that plagued Hannaford Supermarkets was resolved at about 11 p.m. Thursday, a spokesman said Friday.

The problem began Thursday morning and prevented most of Hannaford’s 181 stores from processing debit or credit cards. Spokesman Eric Blom said Friday that, working with a third-party software supplier, the company sent out a software fix to all the stores from a central location.

Blom said there may be “isolated” periods today, for short bits of time, when some stores may experience another disruption in their ability to process plastic payments as the company fully implements the software fix. Asked whether Hannaford customers should bring cash or checkbooks in case that problem should arise, Blom said “by and large, that would not be necessary,” unless shoppers felt they needed to do so.

He reiterated that the software glitch posed no security risk to customers. He declined to detail what effect the problem had on the grocery chain’s sales.

In 2007 and 2008, Hannaford’s computer system was attacked and breached. Computer hackers stole credit and debit card numbers between Dec. 7, 2007, and March 10, 2008, from Hannaford shoppers. More than 4 million card numbers were exposed. About 1,800 fraudulent charges had been made by the time Hannaford announced the breach on March 17, 2008.

In 2010, the Maine Supreme Court ruled that victims of that breach couldn’t sue for damages if they didn’t suffer financial losses, physical harm or identity theft.

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