Heartland agrees to $5 million breach settlement with Discover

Payment processor reaches agreement with fourth credit card company to resolve issues related to 2008 breach.

Heartland Payment Systems Inc. has agreed to pay $5 million to Discover Financial Services to settle issues related to the 2008 data security breach of the payment processor's systems.

Princeton, N.J.-based Heartland announced the data breach settlement Wednesday.

"We are pleased to have reached an equitable settlement with Discover," Bob Carr, Heartland chairman and CEO said in a press release. "This settlement marks our final agreement with a card brand related to the intrusion."

In May, Heartland said it would pay MasterCard issuers up to $41.4 million to settle claims related to the 2008 breach. Earlier this year, the payment processor reached an agreement with Visa Inc. to pay up to $60 million to Visa card issuers for breach related costs. In December, the company announced a $3.6 million settlement with American Express to resolve intrusion-related issues.

In March, Albert Gonzalez, 28, of Miami, was sentenced to 20 years and one day in prison for leading a series of breaches into Heartland and other companies. More than 130 million credit and debit card numbers from five companies were stolen in the hacking spree and more than 250 financial institutions were affected, prosecutors said.

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