The historically gigantic data robbery from nationwide Target stores nabbed credit and debit card data from approximately 70 million customers, Target announced Friday — a figure almost twice as large as originally reported.
The new number, up from an earlier estimate of 40 million, does not represent an additional data breach but a recalculation based on Target’s own internal investigation into the matter, which was first exposed by cybersecurity blogger Brian Krebs last month. The massive data heist included names, mailing addresses, encrypted personal identification numbers, and phone numbers of the customers affected.
“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,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, in a statement. “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.”
Target, in an attempt to lessen an ongoing public-relations nightmare, said it will continue its investigation and promised that “guests will have zero liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges arising from the breach.” Additionally, the company has pledged to offer one year of free credit monitoring and identify-theft protection to all customers. Those wishing to enroll for the services have three months to do so.
Earlier this week Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., said he wanted to reintroduce a bill to create a national reporting standard for data breaches like the one that seized Target. It would apply to retailers and financial institutions and require both to tell government and consumers of harmful data breaches.
“Consumers, government agencies, and businesses of all kinds have proven to be extremely vulnerable to fraud and identity theft, and the Target data breach is just the latest example of this serious problem” Carper said in a statement.
The original breach revelation, which occurred during the holiday shopping season, left many wondering whether Target’s growth would be hampered. Today’s announcement makes it clear that the company has suffered. Its fourth-quarter outlook update notes “meaningfully weaker-than-expected sales since the [data breach] announcement. Target also announced it is also closing eight stores around the country.
Shares of Target stock had dropped more than 1 percent Friday morning.
What We're Following See More »
Twenty-one states, the District of Columbia and several public interest groups filed the first major lawsuits Tuesday to block the repeal of the Federal Communications Commission’s net neutrality rules. The FCC's rules had prohibited Internet providers from slowing down or blocking websites. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who is leading the states' suit, said that the FCC’s repeal was “arbitrary” and “capricious” and violates federal law. The suit comes just a day after Democrats in the Senate said they were inching closer to acquiring the votes needed to pass legislation overturning the FCC's rule change. It has garnered the support of all 49 Democratic senators as well as one Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME).
"A former C.I.A. officer suspected of helping China identify the agency’s informants in that country has been arrested, the Justice Department said on Tuesday. Many of the informants were killed in a systematic dismantling of the C.I.A.’s spy network in China starting in 2010 that was one of the American government’s worst intelligence failures in recent years, several former intelligence officials have said. The arrest of the former agent, Jerry Chun Shing Lee, 53, capped an intense F.B.I. investigation that began around 2012 after the C.I.A. began losing its informants in China."
"Three-quarters of the members of a federally chartered board advising the National Park Service abruptly quit Monday night out of frustration that Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke had refused to meet with them or convene a single meeting last year. The resignation of nine out of 12 National Park System Advisory Board members leaves the federal government without a functioning body to designate national historic or natural landmarks. It also underscores the extent to which federal advisory bodies have become marginalized under the Trump administration."
"House GOP leaders on Tuesday night pitched a new strategy to avert a looming government shutdown that includes children's health funding and the delay of ObamaCare taxes. Lawmakers need to pass a short-term stopgap bill by midnight Friday, when money for the federal government runs out. The latest GOP plan would keep the government’s lights on through Feb. 16, and be coupled with a six-year extension of funding for the popular Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The continuing resolution or CR would also delay ObamaCare's medical device and Cadillac taxes for two years, and the health insurance tax for one year starting in 2019."
"A key Senate negotiator and White House official on Tuesday expressed little hope for an immigration deal this week but nonetheless predicted that Congress can avoid a government shutdown." Marc Short, the White House Capitol Hill liaison, said he's optimistic about a deal on DACA overall, but not this week. Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn also said he doubts an agreement can be made before week's end.