Massive Target credit card breach was much worse than first reported

Chris Smith
Target moves quickly to prevent future hacks

Target on Friday further revealed the scope of the hacking attack it suffered during the busy 2012 Black Friday and Christmas shopping season, saying that additional personal data has been stolen by hackers, on top of credit/debit card information and encrypted pins. The company said that the stolen info includes names, mailing addresses and phone numbers or email address from as many as 70 million Target customers. The number is significantly higher than the previous estimate, which suggested that up to 40 million credit and debit card numbers were stolen.

“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target Gregg Steinhafel said. “I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team.”

The company said it will contact its customers via email, where available, providing informational support “including tips to guard against consumer scams.” Target will further offer one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all customers that shopped in its retail stores during the hack. Target was also forced to downgrade its fourth quarter outlook estimates, saying that following the data breach announcement it has experienced “meaningfully weaker-than-expected sales” in its stores.

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