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Michaels Stores says it is investigating a possible company datasecurity breach that may have affected its customers' payment cardinformation.

The Irving, Texas-based company said Saturday that itlaunched the probe after learning of possible fraudulent activity onsome U.S. payment cards used at the home decor and crafts retailer.

LINK: Michaels is posting notices and information about breach on website: http://on.kthv.com/1n3fAq4

"Weare concerned there may have been a data security attack on Michaelsthat may have affected our customers' payment card information and weare taking aggressive action to determine the nature and scope of theissue." Michaels CEO Chuck Rubin said in a statement emailed to USATODAY.

Michaels is working with federal law enforcement and datasecurity experts but has yet to confirm that its systems werecompromised. The company also has hired an independent forensics firm tohelp with the investigation. No details are available about thepossible size of the breach.

Rubin suggests Michaels customerstake steps to protect themselves, such as reviewing their accountstatements for unauthorized charges. Michaels has more than 1,250locations in the United States.

On Saturday afternoon, BrianKrebs, an independent Internet security researcher, blogged about theprobe, citing unnamed banking industry sources.

KrebsonSecurity,Krebs' blog that tracks Internet security investigations, said theprobe was discovered Friday. "Multiple sources in the banking industrysay they are tracking a pattern of fraud on cards that were all recentlyused at Michaels," his blog post said.

Michaels is the thirdmajor retailer in the past month or so that has been identified as thevictim of a credit card cyber attack. In December, Target revealed thatit had been attacked and later disclosed that the breach may haveaffected up to 110 million shoppers. Earlier this month, luxury retailerNeiman Marcus said more than 1 million shoppers had been affected by abreach that affected its computer software that runs its cash registers.

Law enforcement officials and several cybersecurity experts have warned of more attacks on retailers.

Contributing: The Associated Press

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