Well at least it can’t get worse than this, right?
Target is not having a great month. After publicly admitting that the credit and debit card details of 40 million customers had been stolen over a period of three weeks, representatives for the big-box retailer then had to step up to the podium again to tell its loyal shoppers that unlike they had previously thought, it turned out the sensitive PIN data had also been taken by the thieves involved in the heist. The same crooks who, at least at the time, held the record for the second largest credit card scam in the history of modern consumerism.
The first place accolade previously belonged to the American chain TJ Maxx, who watched 46 million numbers walk right out the door and couldn’t do a thing to stop it. The competing outlet store will have to pass on its accolades now though, as it’s been revealed the total number of cards stolen in the Target attack is topping out anywhere between 70 -110 million in total.
Nearly twice to three times the original figure the company reported, this cache represents a massive blow to the reputation of Target, while simultaneously putting the safety of millions more potential victims into the hacker’s crosshairs. Not only that, the company has also confirmed rumors that along with the CC info, the names, email accounts, home addresses, and phone numbers of everyone who swiped their plastic in between the dates of November 27th and December 18th were made vulnerable during the busiest shopping season of the entire year.
CEO Gregg Steinhafel knows things don’t look good, and has at least had the humble sense of common decency not to sugar-coat the severity of the situation.
“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. 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.”
The whole ordeal has been financially devastating for the company, as they have been forced to offer one year of free identity theft protection and credit monitoring services to anyone who had their information taken. They’ve also made agreements with many of the major banks to reimburse any funds that are stolen from accounts on the list, which has a serious potential to put a dent in the pockets of the people responsible once the details start leaking out on international forums.