CHICAGO
10/24/2012 12:34 pm ET

Barnes & Noble Hackers Breach Customer Info In Chicagoland And Other National Stores

Hackers breached Barnes & Noble keypads, stealing payment information from shoppers who visited more than 60 bookstores—including stores in Chicago's Lincoln Park and Gold Coast neighborhoods and five in the surrounding suburbs—as recently as September.

The hacked devices, used to swipe credit and debt cards as well as enter PIN numbers, were disconnected in every Barnes & Noble store after the company discovered the breach Sept. 14, according to NBC Chicago.

Scroll down for the full list of city and Chicagoland Barnes & Noble affected.

HuffPost Chicago contacted the city's Barnes & Noble stores, but managers were unable to comment on local impact.

Barnes & Noble spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating told HuffPost Tech that authorities asked the bookseller to keep quiet about the breach until now “in order not to impede investigation.”

“Customers can make transactions securely today by asking booksellers to swipe their credit and signature debit cards through the card readers connected to cash registers,” Barnes & Noble said in a statement.

Hackers did make purchases using the stolen customer credit card information, but the activity was mostly in September and has since tapered off, according to a Barnes & Noble official who spoke to the New York Times.

Though 63 stores were affected, Barnes & Noble hasn't reconnected the devices after the company-wide unplug at its stores, CNET reports. Customers making current in-store purchases must swipe cards attached to the registers. The breach only affected in-store purchases and not online or NOOK activity.

The FBI is currently investigating the hacking; Barnes & Nobles has not commented on how the breach may have occurred. Customers, meanwhile, are advised to change their PIN numbers and be on the lookout for unauthorized charges.

City stores affected by breach:

•1441 West Webster Avenue, Chicago

•1130 North State Street, Chicago

Chicagoland stores affected by breach:

•5380 Route 14, Crystal Lake

•20600 North Rand Road, Deer Park

•728 North Waukegan Road, Deerfield

•1630 Sherman Avenue, Evanston

•1468 Springhill Mall Blvd, West Dundee

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