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Reports: 40 Million Customers Affected by Target Data Breach

The breached data includes the customer name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and three-digit security code. The information was accessed at point-of-sale terminals only; online transactions were not affected.

Reports: 40 Million Customers Affected by Target Data Breach
As many as 40 million accounts may have been breached when Target customers used their debit or credit cards at cash registers between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, according to a press release from the department store giant.

"We are partnering with a leading third-party forensics firm to conduct a thorough investigation of the incident and to examine additional measures we can take that would be designed to help prevent incidents of this kind in the future," a statement from Target reads. "Additionally, Target alerted authorities and financial institutions immediately after we discovered and confirmed the unauthorized access, and we are putting our full resources behind these efforts."

According to the statement, the breached data includes the customer name, credit or debit card number, and the card’s expiration date and CVV (the three-digit security code). The information was accessed at point-of-sale terminals only; online transactions were not affected.

The method used to access the personal information is still under investigation. Experts told the New York Times that it is likely that aggressive malware software infected terminals in the approximately 2,000 brick-and-mortar stores across North America that transmitted data to the potential thieves.

If customers suspect they are victims of identity theft, Target officials suggest reporting it immediately to the financial institution and contacting the Federal Trade Commission or local law enforcement agencies. U.S. citizens are also entitled to one free credit report every 12 months from one of three national reporting agencies.  You may obtain a free copy of your credit report by going to  www.AnnualCreditReport.com or by calling (877) 322-8228.

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