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Update: Target Confirms Security Breach - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Update: Target Confirms Security Breach

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Attention Target shoppers: Your credit card information might have been stolen.

Mega retail chain Target appears to have been hit by what looks like a massive hacker attack.  The company says the key information from as many as 40 million credit and debit cards may have been stolen.

Workers at Fargo's U.S. Bank tell us they have been swamped with calls from concerned customers.  This problem for the Minneapolis-based company isn't just regional, it's a holiday buzz-kill for shoppers all across the country.

Target customers learning their credit card information might have been stolen are feeling many different emotions. Anger in the New York area.

"I might be done shopping at Target for a little while," says New York area shopper Bill King.

And worried Target shoppers in Boston, like Katie Ballae. "It's really concerning because I've shopped here quite a few times since Black Friday. Makes me want to go check out my accounts and make sure everything is straight."

Target says the problem started on Black Friday, but wasn't detected until Sunday, December 15. No online sales were involved.

"But I don't understand, with a retailer, with someone watching it, how it happens," explains Healther Garrett of Atlanta.

Experts guess: 17 days of credit card swipes in Target's 1800 U.S. stores got hacked. That means 40 million credit and debit cards are possibly exposed.  The names, account numbers, expiration dates and security codes.

Target promotes it's own cards offering 5% cash back, but it turns out there's not full protection.

"The onus is really at the card issuer level us to make sure the entire system is secure," explains senior writer for CNET Seth Rosenblatt.

So, check all your charges on any cards used at Target.  Paula Sorenson did in Rochester, Minnesota and she found a odd charge.

"I phoned my bank it instantly stopped my debit card."

Sorensen's card is now canceled, and experts say that's the best move. Many customers say they trust target to fix the problem.

If you notice a fraudulent charge on your bill, here are a few tips:

  • Call your credit card company or bank immediately. The earlier you flag it, the more likely your bank will pay for it.
  • Ask to replace your credit card and make sure you change your pin number.
  • Consider signing up for a fraud monitoring service.

UPDATE:

Target today confirmed it is aware of unauthorized access to payment card data that may have impacted certain guests making credit and debit card purchases in its U.S. stores. Target is working closely with law enforcement and financial institutions, and has identified and resolved the issue.

"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," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. "We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice."

Approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013. Target alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after it was made aware of the unauthorized access, and is putting all appropriate resources behind these efforts. Among other actions, Target is partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.

More information is available at Target's corporate website. Guests who suspect unauthorized activity should contact Target at: 866-852-8680.

ORIGINAL STORY:

 The Secret Service is investigating a reported credit card data breach at discount retailer Target.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary confirmed the investigation Wednesday evening. He declined to comment further.

Leary's comments came following a report from respected security researcher Brian Krebs that Target had suffered a data breach around the time of Black Friday last month "potentially involving millions of customer credit and debit card records."

Target did not respond to requests for comment Wednesday evening.

Krebs reported that the breach apparently targeted customers at stores rather than online shoppers. The thieves reportedly gained access to data on the magnetic strips of shoppers' cards, potentially allowing them to produce counterfeit versions.

The thieves could also potentially withdraw cash from ATMs using counterfeit debit cards if they were able to intercept PIN data from Target, Krebs said.

American Express and Discover both said they were "aware" of the incident and had fraud controls in place.

"This is an ongoing investigation," an AmEx spokeswoman said, declining to comment further.

MasterCard referred questions to Target; Visa did not respond to requests for comment.

Target competitor TJX Companies -- which operates discount retail chains T.J. Maxx and Marshalls -- fell victim to one of the worst security breaches ever back in 2006, when hackers gained access to at least 94 million domestic and international accounts containing credit card, debit card, and check information.

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