Feeds

Target's database raided, 70 MILLION US shoppers at risk of ID theft

Not just 40 million credit, debit cards compromised – now names, addresses and more

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Hackers swiped the names, home and email addresses, phone numbers and other personal information of up to 70 million Target shoppers, the superstore giant admitted today.

Evidence of the customer database raid was discovered during an investigation into the attack on Target's payment systems that leaked 40 million credit and debit cards to cyber-crooks. That sensitive banking data, as well as the personal records, were siphoned unencrypted from Target's computers between November 27 and December 15 last year.

In an advisory, the company said:

As part of Target’s ongoing forensic investigation, it has been determined that certain guest [customer] information - separate from the payment card data previously disclosed - was taken during the data breach.

This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation. At this time, the investigation has determined that the stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses for up to 70 million individuals.

Staff at the US chain will now call and email customers whose contact information was illegally harvested to alert them that they are now at risk of identity theft and fraud. The company said it will only warn people of the blunder: anyone claiming to be from Target and asking for more details, whether by email or phone, will be a phishing crook.

"I know that it is frustrating for our guests [customers] to learn that this information was taken and we are sorry they are having to endure this," Target chairman, president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said.

"Our guests expect more from us and deserve better. And I want them to know that understanding and sharing the facts is important to me and the entire Target team."

Customers' bank card PIN numbers, stolen during the hackers' holiday season ransacking, were encrypted using 3DES, although lifted card numbers – which can be used to clone a victim's card – have been spotted for sale on underground marketplaces.

Target said people affected by the security breach will be offered one year of free identify-theft protection and credit-monitoring services. The biz also warned investors that the cock-up will hit the chain's financial figures.

Anxious shoppers can find more details on Target's corporate site. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
iWallet: No BONKING PLEASE, we're Apple
BLE-ding iPhones, not NFC bonkers, will drive trend - marketeers
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Tor attack nodes RIPPED MASKS off users for 6 MONTHS
Traffic confirmation attack bared users' privates - but to whom?
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.