Newton, MA 01.01.2008: The Mass Pike ducks under the Shaw's supermarket in Newton. Globe Staff Photo, David Kamerman Section: METRO; Slug:; Reporter: Library Tag 01022008 Library Tag 07062008 Metro
The Boston Globe

Did you shop at a Shaw’s or Star Market between June 22 and July 17 and pay by credit or debit card? If so, you may want to keep a close eye on those cards. The chains’ owner, AB Acquisition LLC, announced today that there was a data breach affecting stores across the country.

AB Acquisition, which is controlled by private equity firm Cerberus Capital Management, said in a press release that there was an “unlawful intrusion to obtain credit and debit card payment information,” though it does not yet know if any cardholder data was stolen. It also said customers should feel safe using their credit and debits card in stores now, so if you’re one of the many people boycotting Market Basket, you don’t have to add another grocery store to your list of places to avoid.

Just in case, AB Acquisition is offering anyone whose cards may have been affected a free year of identity protection. Starting today at 4 p.m., you can call AllClear ID at 1-855-865-4449 to sign up. UPDATE: The phone sign ups are not working. A new phone number is being set up, a spokeswoman told Boston.com. We will update when it becomes available.

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“We understand the inconvenience and concern an incident like this can cause, and we deeply regret that our customers’ data was targeted,” said Mark Bates, AB Acquisition’s senior vice president and chief information officer.

Certain Albertsons, ACME Markets, and Jewel-Osco grocery stores across the country were also affected. Those chains are all also under the Cerberus and AB grocery umbrella.

Several retailers have been the target of similar data breaches, most famously Target last year. Forty million credit card numbers were stolen in the biggest retail hack in U.S. history. The CEO at the time, Gregg Steinhafel, resigned in the wake of the breach. Brian Cornell was named to replace him last month.