Target: Breach affected millions more customers

Jen Bonanni of Carlisle carefully unbuckled her 4-year-old from his child seat and bundled him up for the 100-foot walk across the parking lot into the Target in Silver Spring Square.

Jen should be doing commercials for the chain of discount stores.

“We love Target,” she said with great enthusiasm Friday afternoon. “We shop at Target all the time. That's where I buy everything we need; our home essentials, everything.”

Jen was one of the 70 million who swiped a credit card at Target between November 27 and December 15, when the personal information of millions of customers might have been breached.

Target initially reported that 40 million customers had been hacked. On Friday, the store increased the number by 30 million.

Personal information was likely stolen by overseas thieves who are actively trying to sell it on a black market website. We've even found a Harrisburg identity being shopped there.

“The reality is all of us are vulnerable,” said John Sancenito, president of INA, a Harrisburg firm that specializes in Internet security. “There's information on each of us out there that could be exploited by those who are wishing to commit identity theft.”

Sancenito says if you used a credit or debit card at Target and haven't noticed any strange charges on your bank statements, consider yourself lucky. But, he says, you still could be hit. Thieves could have your information right now and are waiting to cash in.

“I would go down and ask your bank or credit card company to give you a different card,” he said. “Get all new numbers on your cards and change the PIN numbers if you used an ATM card. Change that PIN number immediately.”

Target also announced Friday that sales were below projections after word of the security breach last month.

The company's CEO, president and chairman Gregg Steinhafel issued a statement that said in part, “I know it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this.”

Jen was not seeing red over the Target breach. In fact, she said her identity was once stolen after using a credit card at a gas station.

“I don't blame Target,” Jen said. “It's technology. Everything is out there. It's the Internet. Everything is on the web. I do not blame them. Someone can hack any account, I think.”

Target is promising to provide customers with a year's free credit monitoring and identity theft protection. Target will provide more details on that next week.


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