If you worry about hackers stealing the credit or debit-card number you use to buy things from various hackable retailers this holiday season, bear in mind those aren't the only hackers you need worry about: some hackers get you when you're shopping, others get you where you park.
The Security Week news site reported that on Friday, an “unauthorized attacker gained access” to the payment processing systems used by SP+, a company that owns and operates over 4,000 parking garages throughout the country.
The company would not say how many customers had their payment information stolen or placed at risk, but did say that only 17 of its garages were affected by the breach, mostly in Chicago but also in Cleveland, Philadelphia, Seattle, and Evanston. SP+ says it first learned about the problem on Nov. 3, although Security Week did not get the news until Nov. 28; it is not currently known how long the problem existed before its discovery on the third.
So if you live or work in any of those five listed cities (or have visited any of them), and parked in a parking garage on Nov. 3 or some indeterminate amount of time before that – your credit card and related information might be at risk.
Chances are you don't even know whether “your” parking garage is owned by SP+; most people choose parking garages based on location, not who owns it. But if you have paid to park in those listed cities more than a month ago, it might be worth verifying the name and owner of that parking garage, just in case.