Target confirmed reports that criminals hacked into their customer information system and stole the credit card and personal information of approximately 40 million shoppers. The hack began on Black Friday (November 27th) and continued up until December 15th. Nearly every domestic Target store was hit, but no online shoppers were affected.
Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement:
“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. We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”
The Secret Service confirmed that it was investigating the incident, but has not released any details. For anyone who shopped at Target during that period of time, they are advising that customers monitor their accounts very closely for any fraudulent purchases. According to a source, the incident “will put its mark up there with some of the largest retail breaches to date.”
This kind of thing really makes you want to start using cash at all times. People are cautious about online shopping, but you never think of being hacked at someplace like Target. The scope of this crime is astronomical. Representatives for Target better hope for a Christmas miracle because this has the potential to be a huge identity theft mess.