Target faces second largest credit card hack in U.S.

Shoppers may be hesitant to head to Target this holiday season, after an estimated 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been compromised after a data breach occurring between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013.

The Target hack, which took place at credit card terminals in U.S. stores, was the second largest credit card breach in U.S. history next to retailer TJX Cos. In 2005.

Early this week, Target reported they were investigating a breach and released the details of the incident the next day.

Anyone who shopped at Target between Nov. 17, the day before Thanksgiving, and Dec. 15 may have had their information stolen, but online purchases were not affected. Exposed information includes victims’ names, card numbers, card expiration dates and card security codes.

Of course companies like Target, with such magnitude, assemble top notch security teams and spend millions of dollars annually on security.

This leads analysts like Avivah Litan, a security analyst with Gartner Research, to suggest that it may be an inside job.

“The fact this breach can happen with all of their security in place is really alarming,” Litan told the Los Angeles Daily News.

Although the holidays are one of the worst imaginable times for a breach like this, Target is hoping it won’t scare away customers.

“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests, and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence,” Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel said Thursday in a statement.

The company suggests those who may be at risk to frequently check their statements and change their pin numbers. They have not released the exact details of the breach but ensure the problem has been fixed.

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