As if 40 million wasn't already bad enough, Target this morning issued an update regarding its recent catastrophic data breach that increases the number of customers victimized to 70 million.
In addition, Target also confessed that even more information had been stolen than the company previously believed.
From a Target press release:
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. ...
"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,
How frustrating to customers (this one would prefer not to be called a guest)? To cite just one example, my credit-perfect brother attempted to buy several hundred dollars worth of goods at a Target several days ago and had three credit cards rejected on the spot due to the breach. "I felt like a deadbeat," he told me.
Target promises that victims, both those previously known and those newly discovered, will endure no liability for any fraudulent charges. My credit card companies told me the same thing on the day the news first broke, so this is no concession on Target's part. And the usual credit monitoring services will be offered.
The company also reported that sales declined precipitously immediately after news of the breach became public. Since then sales have picked up, Target says, although the company is forecasting a quarterly decline of 2 to 6 percent.
More info for victims is available here.
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