Target Now Says 70 Million Customers Affected by Data Breach; Personal Information Also Stolen

Target now says that the personal information of more than 70 million customers was compromised at its stores during the busy holiday season, making the data breach one of the biggest thefts of its kind in U.S. history.

The latest figures include customers who shopped at Target stores before Black Friday. In addition to the payment-card information previously reported stolen, the company said Friday that names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses also were taken.

“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken, and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement on the company’s website. “I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team.”

Target said it uncovered the latest thefts during its ongoing forensic investigation, and that this is not a new breach. The company said that only bits and pieces of data were stolen, but in cases where Target has an email address, it will attempt to contact consumers with tips to guard against scams. The emails will not ask consumers to provide personal information, the company said.

Online Survey will Gauge Financial Impact of Breach

Meanwhile, CUNA renewed its call this week for credit unions to report their breach-related expenses by filling out a brief online questionnaire. More than 725 credit unions had already responded by Friday morning.

The survey, available here, asks credit unions that offer debit and/or credit cards to report not only the financial costs of closing accounts and reissuing cards, but also the impact of the breach on operations such as call centers. CUNA also wants to know how quickly credit unions were notified of the breach by their card processors or networks, and how specific those notifications were.

Credit unions can complete the online survey anonymously, but CUNA is urging respondents to include their charter number so that the information can be incorporated into 5300 Call Reports. In any case, only CUNA’s Marketing Research staff will have access to individual credit union responses.

“In demonstrating to lawmakers, regulators and the media the impact of the breach, we need as much information as possible from credit unions,” CUNA President/CEO Bill Cheney said Friday in his Cheney Report. “The sooner we receive the information, the better of course. However, there is no deadline. We recognize that many have not yet incurred all of the costs, and can (and should) complete the survey as soon as data is available.”

More information about the Target breach, including tips for credit unions and consumers affected by the heist, is available on the company’s website, in previous Anthem coverage (Dec. 20, Dec. 27 and Jan. 3) and in an NWCUA Fraud Alert.

 

Questions? Contact Gary Stein: 503.350.2216, gstein@nwcua.org.

Posted in CUNA.