Quantcast

Target: 40M card accounts may be breached - KTBS.com - Shreveport, LA News, Weather and Sports

Target: 40M card accounts may be breached

Posted: Updated:
(AP) -

Target says about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may be affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear.

The chain said customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at terminals in its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have had their accounts exposed. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards.

The data breach did not affect online purchases, the company said.

The stolen information included Target store brand cards and major card brands such as Visa and MasterCard.

"Target's first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause," Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement Thursday.

The Minneapolis company said it immediately told authorities and financial institutions once it became aware of the breach and that it is teaming with a third-party forensics firm to investigate and prevent future breaches. The company said it is putting all "appropriate resources" toward the issue.

Target Corp. advised customers to check their statements carefully. Those who see suspicious charges on the cards should report it to their credit card companies and call Target at 866-852-8680. Cases of identity theft can also be reported to law enforcement or the Federal Trade Commission.

Even if Target shoppers haven't noticed suspicious activity on their credit card accounts, a Target spokeswoman said, "we encourage everyone to be vigilant."

Target hasn't disclosed exactly how the data breach occurred, but said it has fixed the problem and credit card holders can continue shopping at its stores.

The company has 1,797 U.S. stores and 124 in Canada.

"The fact this breach can happen with all of their security in place is really alarming," said Avivah Litan, a security analyst with Gartner Research.

Litan noted that companies like Target spend millions of dollars each year on credit card security measures. Given the company's heavy security, Litan said she believes the theft may have been an inside job.

Target's breach comes at the height of the holiday shopping season and threatens to scare away shoppers worried about the safety of their personal data. The November and December period accounts for 20 percent, on average, of total retail industry sales.

In Wednesday morning's trading, Target's stock dipped $1.15, or 1.8 percent, to $62.40.

The incident is particularly troublesome for Target because it has used its branded credit and debit cards as a marketing tool to lure shoppers with a 5 percent discount.

The company said during its earnings call in November that as of October some 20 percent of store customers have the Target branded cards. This holiday season, Target added other incentives to use its cards. Two days before Thanksgiving, Target.com ran a special review sale with 25 exclusive offers, from electronics to housewares for those who used the branded card.

As a result of these incentives, households that activate a Target-branded card have increased their spending at the store by about 50 percent on average, the company said.

"This is how Target is getting more customers in the stores," said Brian Sozzi, CEO and Chief Equities Strategist. "It's telling people to use the card. It's been a big win. If they lose that trust, that person goes to Wal-Mart."

Target is just the latest retailer to be hit with a data breach. TJX Cos., which runs stores such as T.J. Maxx and Marshall's, had a breach that began in July 2005 that exposed at least 45.7 million credit and debit cards to possible fraud. The breach wasn't detected until December 2006. In June 2009 TJX agreed to pay $9.75 million in a settlement with multiple states related to the massive data theft but stressed at the time that it firmly believed it did not violate any consumer protection or data security laws.

At TJX, for at least 17 months, one or more intruders had free rein inside TJX's computers. Without anyone noticing, one or more intruders installed code on the discount retailer's systems to methodically unearth, collect and transmit account data from the millions of credit card and debit cards.

An even larger hack hit Sony in 2011. It had to rebuild trust among PlayStation Network gamers after hackers compromised personal information including credit card data on more than 100 million user accounts.

Greg Melich, an analyst at ISI International Strategy & Investment Group, wrote in a note published Thursday that Target's most important goal should be to maintain "customer trust and therefore longer-term loyalty."

Litan said she doubts the breach will have much of an effect on Target's sales, noting that TJX launched sales promotions immediately following the news of its breach. The promotions increased sales.

"People care more about discounts than security," Litan said.

  • News NowMore>>

  • "I'm Up!"

    "I'm Up!"

    Monday, April 21 2014 9:54 AM EDT2014-04-21 13:54:56 GMT
    Wake up on the right side of the bed and shout "I'm Up!". Your day's just not complete without KTBS 3 First News and Carly Flynn Morgan, T.W. Starr, Meteorologist Brian Fowler, Rick Rowe and Amy Vitrano
    Wake up on the right side of the bed and shout "I'm Up!".
  • Deadline nears to register for Arkansas primary

    Deadline nears to register for Arkansas primary

    Monday, April 21 2014 9:38 AM EDT2014-04-21 13:38:50 GMT
    Monday marks the deadline for Arkansans to register to vote in next month's primary election.
    Monday marks the deadline for Arkansans to register to vote in next month's primary election.
  • SKorean president: Ferry crew actions 'murderous'

    SKorean president: Ferry crew actions 'murderous'

    Monday, April 21 2014 8:52 AM EDT2014-04-21 12:52:05 GMT
    South Korean President Park Geun-hye says the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed `unforgivable, murderous acts' in the disaster.
    South Korean President Park Geun-hye says the captain and some crew members of the sunken ferry committed `unforgivable, murderous acts' in the disaster.
  • ArkLaTex SlideshowsMore>>

  • ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    ArkLaTex Adoptable Pets

    Sunday, April 20 2014 8:50 PM EDT2014-04-21 00:50:49 GMT
    There are lots of animals in the ArkLaTex who are looking for that perfect home.
    There are lots of animals in the ArkLaTex who are looking for that perfect home.
  • Easter Bunnies

    Easter Bunnies

    Saturday, April 19 2014 6:26 AM EDT2014-04-19 10:26:06 GMT
    Thank you to all of our viewers who sent us pictures of your little Easter bunnies.
    Thank you to all of our viewers who sent us pictures of your little Easter bunnies.
  • Celebrate Education 2014

    Celebrate Education 2014

    Thursday, April 17 2014 3:30 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:30:00 GMT
    Community Projects Director Jan Elkins with donors for the KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home.
    CELEBRATE EDUCATION, and it begins next week at the Shreveport Convention Center.
  • Assignment EducationMore>>

  • Caddo schools transformation plan

    Caddo schools transformation plan

    Sunday, April 20 2014 4:04 PM EDT2014-04-20 20:04:12 GMT
    The caddo school district is working to transform some   of its lowest achieving schools.  Step one was to restructure several campuses for the coming year, one won't even exist when schools open in august. Step
    The caddo school district is working to transform some   of its lowest achieving schools.  Step one was to restructure several campuses for the coming year, one won't even exist when schools open in august. Step
  • Celebrate Education 2014

    Celebrate Education 2014

    Thursday, April 17 2014 3:30 PM EDT2014-04-17 19:30:00 GMT
    Community Projects Director Jan Elkins with donors for the KTBS 3 St. Jude Dream Home.
    CELEBRATE EDUCATION, and it begins next week at the Shreveport Convention Center.
  • Louisiana Tech to showcase innovation, entrepreneurship at annual ‘I-20 Top 20’

    Louisiana Tech to showcase innovation, entrepreneurship at annual ‘I-20 Top 20’

    Thursday, April 17 2014 2:31 PM EDT2014-04-17 18:31:46 GMT
    University Hall at LA TechUniversity Hall at LA Tech
    Business and community leaders, technology entrepreneurs, and leaders in innovation throughout north Louisiana will gather at Louisiana Tech University, April 29 for the second annual I-20 Top 20 Regional
    Business and community leaders, technology entrepreneurs, and leaders in innovation throughout north Louisiana will gather at Louisiana Tech University, April 29 for the second annual I-20 Top 20 Regional Showcase.
  • NationalMore>>

  • MARATHON WATCH: Running for a friend hurt by bomb

    MARATHON WATCH: Running for a friend hurt by bomb

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-04-21 14:53:41 GMT
    By The Associated Press Thousands of runners are gathering at the starting line of the Boston Marathon in Hopkinton, one year after a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs killed three people...
    By The Associated Press A look at the 118th running of the Boston Marathon.
  • Teen stowaway could face charges in California

    Teen stowaway could face charges in California

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:53 AM EDT2014-04-21 14:53:32 GMT
    Officials say a 16-year-old boy is "lucky to be alive" and unharmed after flying from California to Hawaii stowed away in a plane's wheel well, surviving cold temperatures at 38,000 feet and a lack of oxygen.
    Police in San Jose, Calif., say they are reviewing whether charges are warranted against a 16-year-old boy who authorities say jumped a fence at San Jose's airport and stowed away aboard a Hawaii-bound flight.
  • Court to look at 'born in Jerusalem' passport case

    Court to look at 'born in Jerusalem' passport case

    Monday, April 21 2014 10:45 AM EDT2014-04-21 14:45:06 GMT
    The Supreme Court says it will hear for the second time a passport dispute fraught with Middle Eastern politics. The question is whether Americans born in Jerusalem may list their place of birth as Israel.
    Confronting an issue fraught with Middle East politics, the Supreme Court has agreed to hear for the second time a passport dispute centering on whether Americans born in Jerusalem may list their place of birth as Israel.
  • KTBS 3 News Tips

    Send your news tip or story idea to the KTBS 3 Newsroom.  Enter your email address below to get started.

    * denotes required fields
    We're sorry, but only one entry is allowed per person.
    Thank you for your continued interest.

    Thank you for your submission to KTBS 3 News.  A member of our staff may contact you for more information.

Share Your Images
Powered by WorldNow
    Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Worldnow and KTBS. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
    Advertising | EEO Public File | KTBS 3 Public File | KPXJ 21 Public File