A data dump by hacktivists called Anonymous Ukraine, which triggered American Express to notify nearly 77,000 California residents of potential exposed information, is posing a public relations challenge for the card brand even though it says its internal systems were not breached.

"It's not their fault, but the unfortunate thing…is that consumers don't understand the nuance between data breach and data dump so when their cards are reissued it does have an impact," says Julie Conroy, research director and fraud expert with Aite Group. A data dump is the publication of a massive amount of collected data, which could have been obtained through card skimming or through attacks on merchant systems.

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