In a recently issued press release, Target has confirmed reports of a major data breach between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013 that may have affected as many as 40 million cards. The dates included Black Friday, the notoriously busy shopping day following Thanksgiving.
Target says the unauthorized access to payment card information may have impacted customers making credit and debit card purchases in its U.S. stores, and that it is working closely with law enforcement and financial institutions, and has identified and resolved the issue.
“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, chairman, president and CEO of Target. “We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”
Target stated they alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after it was made aware of the unauthorized access, and is putting all appropriate resources behind these efforts. Also, Target said it is partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident.
Target has 1,797 stores in the U.S. and has built 124 stores in Canada since it began a national roll out there last March. Canadian broadcaster CBC News is reporting that Canadian Target stores were not affected, and that Target has not specified where the affected stores were located, except that they were in the United States.
The breach was first reported by security blogger Brian Krebs. It was not immediately clear as to whether online customers were affected by the breach.
The press release says that guests who suspect unauthorized activity should contact Target at 866-852-8680.
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