The data that was hacked from Target customers over the Black Friday shopping weekend in 2013 is significantly more than originally estimated. Target had originally put the number at around 70 million, which is already a staggering number of people who had their credit and debit information compromised. However, the new number that was released puts the estimated number of people affected at 110 million.
Information that was hacked that weekend included names, addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses and the breach has created widespread panic. Target has done a few things to make amends, including offering discounts to affected customers, but that doesn’t seem like it has done too much to soften the anger of any of its customers who were breached.
According to CNN Money, the breach occurred in the weeks following Thanksgiving when as many as 40 million customers may have also had credit or debit card information stolen. A Target spokesperson said there may be overlap between the two groups, but they do not currently know the extent. That number rose to 70 million, and has now risen to 110 million.
Target said it would try to reach customers for whom it has e-mail addresses to inform them of the breach. It cautioned that it would not ask customers to provide any personal information and warned customers not to respond to any e-mail claiming to be from Target that asked for any type of personal information. You can be sure that there will be other phishing emails sent out to Target customers in order to gather even more personal info. Be careful what you respond to, as noted above.
"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 Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel.
On the Upside
Plenty of personal info was stolen from people, and many charges were made. However, on the upside, customers will not be responsible for any fraudulent charges made during that time period. This is something that can at least calm some nerves, but it doesn’t take away the headache of knowing personal information has been stolen.