Target Says Security Breach Much Worse Than First Reported

The data breach at Target stores could be affecting many more people than originally stated.

target store

The exterior of a Target store is seen in this file photo. (Credit: KTLA)

Target released a statement on Friday, which said that up to 70 million customers had their personal information stolen.

Investigators determined that the names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses of these individuals were stolen, according to the statement.

In December, the retailer had announced that as many as 40 million customers were affected, and that credit and debit card numbers and encrypted PIN data were stolen between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

The U.S. Secret Service and the Department of Justice were investigating the breach.

The nation’s third-largest retailer, Target faces multiple class-action lawsuits over the hack.

Below is Target’s updated statement about the breach, which was released on Friday, Jan. 10, 2014:

As part of Target’s ongoing forensic investigation, it has been determined that certain guest information — separate from the payment card data previously disclosed — was taken during the data breach.

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 for up to 70 million individuals.

Much of this data is partial in nature, but in cases where Target has an email address, the Company will attempt to contact affected guests.  This communication will be informational, including tips to guard against consumer scams. Target will not ask those guests to provide any personal information as part of that communication. In addition, guests can find the tips on our website.

“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, Target. “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.”

Guests will have zero liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges arising from the breach. To provide further peace of mind, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all guests who shopped our U.S. stores. Guests will have three months to enroll in the program. Additional details will be shared next week. To learn more, please go to target.com/databreach.