(Adds details on investigation)
LOS ANGELES, March 22 The California Department
of Motor Vehicles has opened an investigation into a possible
security breach of its credit card processing services, a
spokesman for the agency said.
"The Department of Motor Vehicles has been alerted by law
enforcement authorities to a potential security issue within its
credit card processing services," Armando Botello, a spokesman
for the agency, said in a statement.
He added that the agency has opened an investigation "out of
an abundance of caution" along with federal and state law
The blog Krebs on Security first reported the suspected data
breach, citing unnamed sources at financial institutions. It
said the potentially compromised transactions occurred between
Aug. 2 and Jan. 31 and the data that may have been stolen could
include credit card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit
The DMV allows clients to pay by credit card in online
transactions and at self-service terminals at some locations,
for transactions such as renewing driver's licenses and vehicle
registrations, Botello said in a phone interview.
He declined to release other details about the potential
breach, including the time frame when it might have occurred.
Representatives from MasterCard Inc and Visa Inc
could not immediately be reached for comment.
MasterCard spokesman Seith Eisen told the Los Angeles Times
the credit card company is "aware of and investigating" reports
of a potential breach involving the California DMV.
Botello, in his written statement, said there is no evidence
of a direct breach of the DMV's computer system.
"In its investigation, the department is performing a
forensic review of its systems and seeking information regarding
any potential breach from both the external vendor that
processes the DMV's credit card transactions and the credit card
companies themselves," the statement said.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis; Editing by Eric Walsh)