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Target Shoppers Hit by Major Credit Card Hack

FILE: Target
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Target corporation has confirmed there has been a major security breach on credit card and debit cards used by Target shoppers across North America.

Beginning on Black Friday weekend at nearly all of Target’s 1,797 stores in the United States, the cyber attack is responsible for stealing data obtained via software installed on machines that customers use to swipe credit and debit cards.

Cybercriminals appear to have focused on the point-of-sale systems in Target’s stores, which collect information from customers’ debit and credit cards, and potentially, PINs.

The cyber-security blog, Krebs on Security, reported that “track data” from at least 1 million payment cards was thought to have been stolen before Target uncovered the operation, but that the number “could be significantly higher.”

MSN News quoted an anonymous source as saying:

When all is said and done, this one will put its mark up there with some of the largest retail breaches to date.”

At this point it is unclear how the hackers could have breached the point-of-sales terminals. If the cyber-criminals were able to intercept the PIN information, as well, it is also possible that thieves could create fake cards, or even withdraw money from a customer’s account through an A.T.M.

Why Do Stores Want My Zip Code?

The Target stores data attack could have extended from just after Thanksgiving to Dec. 15, cites Krebs on Security.

Unfortunately, according to cyber-security experts, there is not a lot a customer can do in a situation like this. However, it might be wise to change passwords, change PIN (personal identification numbers), and even asking your bank to issue you another card.

How Criminals are Guessing Your PIN Number

If you are concerned and would like to talk to a Target representative call 1-866-852-8680.

UPDATE: Target says credit card holders can continue to shop at its stores and has fixed the problem that allowed credit and debit card information on as many as 40 million accounts to be stolen.

sources, MSN News and Krebs on Security

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