Shoe-store chain reports personal data was stolen

Associated Press
Published March 11, 2005

COLUMBUS, Ohio - More than 100,000 customers of a shoe-store chain likely have been affected by a cyber break-in of the company's database, the Secret Service said Thursday.

DSW Shoe Warehouse of discovered the theft of credit card and personal shopping information last Friday and reported it to federal authorities, the company said. DSW was alerted by a credit card company that noticed suspicious activity.

The company's announcement follows disclosure within the past month from two database brokers that intruders accessed personal information from more than 170,000 citizens, and the disclosure last month from Bank of America that it lost computer data tapes containing personal information of 1.2-million federal employees.

At DSW, an outside contractor is evaluating the company's network to determine how it was breached, said Kurt Douglass, special agent in charge of the Secret Service's Cincinnati office.

The number of customers affected is unknown, but "it's going to be in the hundreds of thousands," Douglass said.

The information was stolen from a database for 103 of the chain's 175 stores. In the Tampa Bay area, DSW has a location on N Dale Mabry Highway in Tampa.

Internet sales from the chain's Web site were not affected, the company said.