If you shopped at your local Target store in between November 27th and December 18th, you might want to be checking your credit card statement. 40 million credit card users had their card data stolen while shopping at the retail giant.
Cyber criminals started their attack on Black Friday and affected approximately 40,000 credit card terminals across the country. You can imagine how many people have swiped their cards over the last few weeks. Target has issued a statement about the incident saying “issue has been identified and resolved.”
Independent journalist Brian Krebs was the first to break the story but was then confirmed by various news outlets across the country.
Target admits that “40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013.”
Target, a third party investigation team, and even the secret service are currently investigating the breach to see what caused it, but as with many crimes like this, many details are still unknown,
The point-of-sale terminals were apparently compromised by the cyber criminals at which point they were able to collect data from the cards that were being swiped. Officials think it might have been done through insiders who inserted phishing or malware attack software into the terminal network. That would allow them collect all the data they need to steal from consumers including card data and expiration.
If that is true, these criminals could create duplicate cards and even clean out users bank accounts via ATM.
Good news if you shopped online. Those users were unaffected.