Lobbying associations representing the retail and banking industries are pointing fingers over who’s to blame over the breach last month that exposed the credit card numbers of as many as 110 million Target customers.
The National Retail Federation, which represents Target, sent a letter on Tuesday to members of Congress, claiming that banks have failed to upgrade to the most secure technology for processing transactions in the U.S.
“For years, banks have continued to issue fraud-prone magnetic stripe cards to U.S. customers, putting sensitive financial information at risk while simultaneously touting the security benefits of next generation ‘PIN and Chip’ card technology for customers in Europe and dozens of other markets,” Matthew Shaw, CEO of the National Retail Federation, wrote in the letter.
But the banking industry isn’t letting that accusation slide. The Independent Community Bankers of America fired back at the retail group with a statement on Wednesday.
“The NRF should focus its attention on responding to the harm that security breaches at several retailers have done to consumers and their financial institutions rather than hurling false allegations blaming the banking industry for these retail breaches,” Camden Fine, the CEO of the Independent Community Bankers of America, said.
“Retailers and their processors — not banks — are responsible for the systems in their stores that process payment cards.”
Fine said he hopes the massive breaches at Target and Neiman Marcus will spur retailers to adopt better security procedures.
The Target breach was likely the work of a sophisticated ring of hackers, possibly based in Russia, according to a report released last week by the cybersecurity firm iSight, which worked with the Homeland Security Department. The hackers gained access to the credit card numbers by injecting a virus into Target’s card readers, the report found.
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"American spies collected information last summer revealing that senior Russian intelligence and political officials were discussing how to exert influence over Donald J. Trump through his advisers." The conversations centered around Paul Manafort, who was campaign chairman at the time, and Michael Flynn, former national security adviser and then a close campaign surrogate. Both men have been tied heavily with Russia and Flynn is currently at the center of the FBI investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.
"Former FBI Director Robert Mueller has been cleared by U.S. Department of Justice ethics experts to oversee an investigation into possible collusion between then-candidate Donald Trump's 2016 election campaign and Russia." Some had speculated that the White House would use "an ethics rule limiting government attorneys from investigating people their former law firm represented" to trip up Mueller's appointment. Jared Kushner is a client of Mueller's firm, WilmerHale. "Although Mueller has now been cleared by the Justice Department, the White House may still use his former law firm's connection to Manafort and Kushner to undermine the findings of his investigation, according to two sources close to the White House."
Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) and ranking member Mark Warner (D-VA) will subpoena two businesses owned by former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn. Burr said, "We would like to hear from General Flynn. We'd like to see his documents. We'd like him to tell his story because he publicly said he had a story to tell."