Bowker, the international clearing house for ISBN numbers, has announced a breach of its MyIdentifiers.com website which resulted in theft of payment card information. This theft resulted in an alarming pattern of fraudulent transactions on the cards that Bowker customers had used to order their ISBNs.
The number of self-published titles has grown dramatically year-over-year, but that doesn’t always equate to a noticeable increase in ISBN purchasing. However, Bowker’s own number are showing significant growth in the number of authors opting to purchase ISBNs, so hopefully an incident like this one doesn’t slow that trend.
Of course, Bowker said in a statement that it has had to suspend the purchase of ISBNs at this time pending its investigation of the breach, so that could have an impact on year-end numbers.
“We want to assure our customers that protecting their information is one of our top priorities and we are taking this incident very seriously. We will continue to work vigilantly to pursue this matter quickly to resolution. Consistent with good practice, customers should closely monitor their payment card account statements. If you see any unauthorized charges, you should immediately notify the bank that issued the card. Payment card companies typically do not hold cardholders responsible for unauthorized charges. While we are working to implement additional security enhancements, we have disabled purchasing functionalities at www.myidentifiers.com . Please refer to the instructions here on how you can purchase ISBNs and other products.”
If you purchased an ISBN between May 1 and October 23 of this year, be sure to monitor your accounts for any signs of fraudulent activity, and potentially change your password on both your Bowker MyIdentifier account and your payment card account, just to be cautious.