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Target reports hack may have affected another 110M account-holders

Target originally announced that 40 million accounts had been hacked; the real number seems to be closer to 70 million.
Jan. 10, 2014 at 6:00 PM  |  Updated Jan. 10, 2014 at 10:44 AM   |   Comments

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MINNEAPOLIS, Jan. 10 (UPI) -- The number of Target account-holders hacked during the holiday shopping season is 110 million, not the 40 million first reported, the U.S retailer said Friday.

The company first revised its figure to 70 million Friday, but then pushed the number higher. Target also said the amount of information stolen was now much broader than originally thought.

The New York Times said Friday stolen information was now said to include mailing and emailing addresses, phone numbers and names.

"This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation. At this time, the investigation has determined that the stolen information includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses," Target said in a news release.

"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," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer of the company headquartered in Minneapolis. "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's debit and credit card customers will have no liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges arising from the breach, Target said. In addition, the retailer is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all account holders who shop in its U.S. stores. Target said account-holders will have three months to enroll.

Target also said Friday fourth-quarter sales were stronger than expected, but fell sharply after news that those who used debit or credit cards at U.S. Target stores from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15 were hacked. Target also warned sales and profits for the first quarter of 2014 would be lower than expected because of a loss of consumer confidence.

Easy Solutions, a firm that monitors credit and debit card fraud, said the data stolen from Target caused a quick spike in data available on black market data websites.

The amount of data available went up tenfold to twentyfold, the Times reported.

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