Target Breach Far Worse Than First Reported

Thieves have access to private information of up to110 million Target shoppers. The company is offering shoppers free identity theft monitoring for one year.

Credit: Woodbury Patch
Credit: Woodbury Patch

Target shoppers concerned about a security breach suddenly have a lot more to worry about.

Thieves who hacked the retail giant's database have gained access to sensitive personal information of an estimated 70 million to110 million shoppers according to the company's revised estimate, the New York Times reports.

And the information obtained by hackers is much more valuable to criminals according to the report, which says the breach includes personal addresses, email addresses, phone numbers and names were stolen along with the personal identification numbers (PIN's) that were originally reported last week. 

Target will offer customers free identity theft protection for one year. The company has set up a web page that it says will provide the estimated 110 million shoppers details on how to enroll in the program in the next week.

The unprecedented data breach has far-reaching ramifications according to the report, which says major credit card companies and banks are warning customers about the potential for fraud and are taking precautionary measures including offering new credit cards and account numbers and limiting cash withdrawals.

“This will impact many Target business partners — Visa, MasterCard and the host of banks and credit agencies that now have to keep an eye on the 110 million customers now vulnerable to identity theft,” Hemu Nigam, the founder of SSP Blue, a security and privacy consulting firm, told the Times.

“It affects more than Target customers. It affects mortgage lenders and car sales. It affects the entire economic infrastructure.”


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