Banks give breaks to furloughed workers

Hundreds of thousands of federal workers remain furloughed and are uncertain how long they'll have to go without pay, so some banks are stepping up to offer financial help, CNNMoney reports. TD Bank announced Thursday that customers affected by the government shutdown can get a loan for the amount of their monthly paycheck (up to $1,000) without paying interest or fees. They will also be reimbursed for credit card late fees and can qualify for special mortgage payment plans. The assistance program will last between Oct. 10 and Nov. 2. Other banks launching their own breaks to customers include Capital One, Chase, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Citi, Discover and U.S. Bank.

 

Adobe announces security breach

According to The New York Times, hackers infiltrated the computer system of Adobe Systems Inc., gaining access to credit card information and other personal data from 2.9 million of the software developer's customers. The security breach, which Adobe called a part of a "sophisticated attack," also allowed hackers to obtain encrypted passwords and other personal information from customers. Hackers also illegally took copies of the source code of some of the company's widely used products, which are run on personal computers and businesses' servers around the world. There was no indication that the attackers obtained unencrypted credit card numbers, Adobe said in a statement. As a precaution, however, the company said it had notified customers and credit card companies about the breach and reset customer passwords to prevent further unauthorized access.

 

Retail group expects slightly brighter holiday season sales

Reuters reports that U.S. retail sales should rise 3.9 percent this holiday season, outpacing last year's gains, although economic concerns may impact shoppers' spending, the world's largest retail trade association said on Thursday. The NationalRetail Federation expects U.S. sales in November and December to rise 3.9 percent to $602.1 billion. That would surpass the 3.5 percent increase seen in 2012 and average growth of 3.3 percent over the past decade, but fall short of gains of more than 5 percent in both 2011 and 2010. The retail group's forecast is closely watched ahead of the holiday season, the article said. The season is critical to retailers, as it can account for anywhere from 20 to 40 percent of a retailer's annual sales and accounts for about 20 percent of total industry annual sales, according to the trade group.