Target reportedly victim of security breach since Black Friday

Summary:The Target security breach is initially thought to have lasted between Thanksgiving through Friday, December 6 -- or possibly even up to December 15.


In hindsight, the number of security breaches and attacks during the holiday shopping season seems relatively low given how many shoppers are taking to their smartphones and tablets with their credit cards these days.

However, a wake-up call has gone off as it appears Target has been, well, targeted by cyber criminals, according to a new report from the Krebs on Security blog.

It's actually no laughing matter given how long the breach has possibly gone undetected.

According to former Washington Post staffer Brian Krebs, the breach is initially thought to have lasted between Thanksgiving (November 28) through Friday, December 6 -- or possibly even up to December 15.

Along with the incredibly long window of time that cyber criminals had access to what is said to be credit and debit card data on millions of Target customers, the breach affected brick-and-mortar shoppers too.

Based on unnamed sources at credit card companies, cyber criminals tapped into the data stored on the magnetic strip on the back of credit and debit cards, affecting customers at nearly all of Target's big box stores nationwide.

As of the end of 2012 (the most recent tally provided by the retailer), Target had 1,778 locations across the United States.

However, it is still not clear just how many accounts were affected, let alone compromised and illegally used by hackers.

ZDNet has reached out to Target for comment, and we will update this post once we hear back.

Topics: Security, Data Management, E-Commerce


Rachel King is a staff writer for CBS Interactive based in San Francisco, covering business and enterprise technology for ZDNet, CNET and SmartPlanet. She has previously worked for The Business Insider,, CNN's San Francisco bureau and the U.S. Department of State. Rachel has also written for, Irish Americ... Full Bio

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