Target Breach’s Damage Estimates Rise

In the wake of Target’s announcement that over 40 million customers had their personal financial information compromised, new reports have emerged that suggest the retailer’s problems have only just begun.

KrebsOnSecurity reported that credit and debit card numbers from the cyber-heist are being sold in online black markets in batches one million cards. In one instance, fraud investigators for a major bank purchased a large cache of numbers posted to one such exchange. Additionally, it appears that more of these numbers are being bought and sold every day.

“When the bank examined the common point of purchase among all the dumps it had bought from the shady card shop, it found that all of them had been used in Target stores nationwide between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Subsequent buys of new cards added to that same shop returned the same result,” KrebsOnSecurity reported.

Issues have also been reported at the website of Target’s in-store credit card, Redcard.

According to AllThingsD, the Redcard site was inaccessible for nearly a day. Target spokesman Eric Hausman said in an interview on December 19 that high volume both online and to the Redcard call center have made it difficult for consumers to access information. At the time of this writing, the website works, but navigation menus are slow.

Larry Ponemon of the Ponemon Institute, which investigates data breaches and fraud litigation, told Reuters in an interview that the final cost could be as high as $680 million. Reuters sought a response to Ponemon’s number from Target, but the company’s spokeswoman, Molly Snyder, declined to comment.

The cyberattack raises the question of whether or not mag-strip technology will be implicated – or abandoned – because of the Target breach. To learn more, hear Loop founder and CEO George Wallner’s thoughts on this important security issue by clicking here.

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