The Target Security Breach And Our Vulnerable Data

Target raises the number of customers who may have had debit and credit card information stolen to maybe 110 million. We’ll look at the national implications.

A customer pushes a cart outside of a Target store, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, in Jersey City, N.J.  The company has said that personal consumer data for up to 110 million customers may have been stolen in a massive data security breech. (AP)

A customer pushes a cart outside of a Target store, Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013, in Jersey City, N.J. The company has said that personal consumer data for up to 110 million customers may have been stolen in a massive data security breech. (AP)

It was bad enough when the first news came from Target.  Credit and debit card data on 40 million Americans, stolen at the height of the holiday shopping season.  Then Friday, Target let it be known that that number was in fact as high as 110 million Americans’ data stolen, out there, at risk.  A third of the country.  A number that sounds like system failure.  Now it’s a waiting game to see who gets ripped off.  It will be a lot of people.  Maybe you.  What’s wrong with this system?  This hour On Point:  inside the Target scandal, the American way of credit card security, and your vulnerability.

– Tom Ashbrook


Brian Krebs, author of the blog (@briankrebs)

Avivah Litan, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner. (@avivahl)

David Lazarus, consumer columnist for The Los Angeles Times. (@davidlaz)

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: Target hack hits home: Columnist is among fraud victims — “An identity thief ran up nearly $2,000 in bogus charges at Polo Ralph Lauren, Coach, Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry’s on Saturday — just hours after I published a column decrying the weak efforts of businesses to protect customer data. I’d appreciate the irony if I wasn’t so cheesed off.” Hackers Steal Card Data from Neiman Marcus — “Target released additional details about the breach today, saying hackers also compromised the names, mailing addresses, phone number and email addresses for up to 70 million individuals. But Target has so far not publicly released information that would help other retailers determine whether their systems may have been hit by the same attackers. Neiman Marcus’s Reeder said the company has no indication at this time that the breach at its stores is in any way related to the Target attack.”

Gartner Blog: Target Saga continues – too much for Fraud Detection systems? — “When I first heard of this breach, I was hopeful that the banks’ and card companies fraud detection systems could handle staving off any potential fraud. But after speaking with a few issuers, I realized I was wrong. And after hearing about Chase and Citi’s moves I realized the fraudsters are finally getting the upper hand and disrupting our holiday season.”

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