Sally Beauty investigating second possible breach

Sally Beauty is investigating a possible data breach after a wave of “unusual” payment activity at some of its U.S. stores, the company said Monday.

The probe comes one year after Sally Beauty confirmed it experienced a data breach that experts later said impacted nearly all of the company’s 2,600-plus U.S. locations.

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The first breach was confirmed after a set of data for 282,000 payment cards was released for sale on a black market site. All of the cards had been used at Sally Beauty, though the company said that fewer 25,000 card accounts were in fact stolen from its systems.

Of the latest possible breach, the company said it is working with law enforcement and digital forensics experts to gather facts about the unusual payment activity.

“Until this investigation is completed, it is difficult to determine with certainty the scope or nature of any potential incident, but we will continue to work vigilantly to address any potential issues that may affect our customers,” the company said in a statement.

Retailers are seen as vulnerable to hackers who desire quick payoffs from stealing consumer credit and debit card data.

Target, Home Depot, Neiman Marcus and a long list of other companies have experienced breached in the last five years that shook consumer confidence.

Immediately after a hack, stolen credit card numbers can be worth as much as $20 each on the black market. Their value declines after an intrusion is discovered and news spreads.