Kmart reported Friday that its payment data system was hacked in early September, compromising customers' debit and credit card numbers
Customers who shopped at a Kmart store and paid with a card in September through Oct. 9 may be affected. The retailer's payment data system was infected with a new form of malware, similar to a computer virus.
Based on the investigation so far, no PIN numbers, email addresses or Social Security numbers were stolen. There is no evidence that kmart.com customers were impacted, the retailer said in a statement.
"This data breach has been contained and the malware has been removed," reads a statement on Kmart's website.
Kmart was also quick to remind customers that credit card company policies state customers have "zero liability for any unauthorized charges if they report them in a timely manner." Banks and other debit card issuers' policies vary, so it is best to call the specific company you have an account with to get that information.
Nevertheless, it is a recommended practice to monitor your credit and debit card statements regularly, and specifically if you shopped at Kmart or did business with any other company that has reported a breach.
It could take months before criminals get a hold of your card or other personal information, connect the dots, and possibly steal your identity.
Kmart's announcement comes on the heels of an onslaught of breaches — from retailers to restaurants to many other companies.
Just one day before Kmart made its breach announcement, national sweet treat chain Dairy Queen said customers at about 10 percent of its stores had their credit and debit card numbers compromised. While unrelated to the Kmart breach, there was a time period overlap in which hackers broke into Dairy Queen's payment card system.
Last month, Home Depot confirmed that its six-month long breach compromised approximately 56 million credit and debit cards.
And JPMorgan Chase & Co. revealed on Oct. 2 that its recent data breach exposed contact information for 76 million households and 7 million small businesses.
For more answers to questions about the Kmart breach, click here.