Stolen Target Credit Cards
During the peak of holiday shopping, the number 2-retail store in America, Target, was forced to reveal that upwards of 40 million customers may have had their credit information stolen. According to Target, the credit card breaches began occurring during Black Friday shopping and continued until December 15. It has been reported that the stolen card numbers are being offered for sale on the black market for pennies on the dollar. Prices for a credit/debit card are reportedly being listed for anywhere from $20 to $100. Although Target has stated that they do not believe the hackers have been able to steal the encryption code of a customer’s debit card pin number, investigators are concerned that it is simply a matter of time until the perpetrators are able to make anonymous cash withdrawals from a victim’s bank account. Given the security used to prevent thieves from being able to access the encrypted codes of a credit and debit card it is extremely unnerving that the hackers will able to access more than 40 million credit card numbers. This attack represents the largest theft of data since TJX Cos. in excess of 90 million credit card numbers stolen in 2007.
What Target Has Done About Stolen Cards
Although Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel acted swiftly last Thursday to release a statement apologizing for the data theft, the retail giant has come under fire for keeping this information under wraps. Investigators from the US Treasury Department and US Secret Service are trying to determine if Target had knowledge of the data theft prior to last Thursday. In an effort to appease their customers and the victims of the attack, Target announced that it would offer an all-store wide 10% off discount last Saturday and Sunday. However, given the scope of the attack it is unlikely that this discount is substantial enough to quiet the company’s skeptics. The company has stated that it will not hold the victims of the attack financially responsible for any purchases made with their stolen credit card information.
Stolen Credit Card Target Legal Problems
Given the scope of the attack, Target will be facing substantial lawsuits in the coming months from victims. In fact, the company has already received numerous requests for information from Attorney Generals in Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts and several more states. It is expected that these Attorney Generals will gather the available information and look to hold Target financially responsible for the attacks. It is likely that Target could face legal fines in excess of $1 Billion when all is said and done. Although the information about the attack is less than a week old, Target has reportedly been named in at least 20 lawsuits with many more expected to be filed as customers discover that their credit cards have been breached. However, questions remain over whether Target is responsible for the attacks or whether it was poor encryption and security on the actual credit card. On a larger scale, Target has also seen its stock drop roughly 2.5% since the breach was reported on December 21.
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