Retail giant Target is in the process of investigating and resolving a security breach of its U.S. stores, one that involves the potential compromise of over 40 million customer credit and debit card records.
It appears, at least so far, to only have affected customers who made purchases at a brick-and-mortar Target location, not Target.com, during the weeks following Black Friday. The breach specifically targeted data stored on the magnetic stripe of debit and credit cards swiped in stores for purchases.
This data can be used to create counterfeit cards, and, should the thieves come across the PIN data specific to a card, the fake card can be used at an ATM to withdraw money directly from the victim’s account.
The break-in, which was initially anticipated to have taken place between November 27 and December 6, actually continued until December 15, mere days ago, according to a press release published by Target.
The company is working with “law enforcement and financial institutions” to fix the situation as best they can, and the company says they “regret any inconvenience” this may have caused.
“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,” said Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and CEO.
“We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”
If you believe you were a victim of the breach, Target is encouraging customers to reach out to them by phone.