Up to 40 million credit cards hacked following Mastercard breach

American company CardSystems Solutions shed light on a major breach of security last month by hackers. The company acts as a clearing house for the transactions from single merchants all the way up to big banks in Atlanta, Georgia.

This left 14 million Mastercard customers and 22 million Visa users worldwide open to potential fraud on simple numerics - but it is claimed that identities won't go out of the window with any potential account raids if the names remain attached. However, no brand of credit card using the world's big two credit card companies is completely safe.

Cardsystems reported the fraud to the FBI the following day and they are investigating, but it shows that from the teen bedroom to the adult boardroom, there's no such thing as too much computer security.

While criminals will attempt fraud and theft using any means they believe to be successful, the total damage in terms of perception of online shopping as secure is yet to be calculated in the minds of some shoppers. That's not helpful when both the US and UK need a shot in the arm from consumer spending to help shake off the sloth of poor economic performance.

However, there should hopefully be many more pragmatists who shake off any potential fraud and just carry on shopping over the internet. Speaking of which, there's the new Harry Potter book out this summer and the hunger for a few million copies of it, at a discount price and a convenient shipping deal, may lure the worriers back on the web once more - just like magic.