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Approximately 40 million customers’ payment information has been compromised due to the hack of Target’s payment systems that hit in the peak shopping season as the hack began on Black Friday and stretched more than two weeks to December 15.
The hack was limited to customers shopping in USA and Canadian Target stores using their credit and debit cards. However, online purchases were not involved.
Target confirmed that hackers stole customer names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates and card security codes. They also mentioned that PIN numbers, other customer information like Social Security numbers, and employee records were not compromised.
The company has already notified their “millions” of affected customers to their available registered email addresses.
There was a malware stored on a sale system and caused this security breach. The company is cooperating with federal authorities, including the Secret Service and Department of Justice, and is withholding additional details at the request of law enforcement.
As a precautionary measure, the customers who used thir credit or debit cards at Target stores during that time period, should contact their respective banks for a replacement card and new PIN.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said “The cause of this issue has been addressed and you can shop with confidence at Target.”