Retailer Target hit by data breach, 40 million customers affected

Popular U.S. retailer Target suffered a major data breach, with more than 40 million potential customers affected over the past month.

Published Thu, Dec 19 2013 10:19 AM CST   |   Updated Sat, Aug 8 2020 10:29 AM CDT

Target today confirmed that 40 million customers might be at risk of credit and debit card fraud, due to cyber criminals reportedly gaining access to the Target system. Customers that made purchases from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15 with a debit or credit card are at risk, with stolen data including customer names, credit and debit card numbers, three-digit security codes, and card expiration dates.

Retailer Target hit by data breach, 40 million customers affected |

With a data breach nationwide, it seems unlikely that a credit card skimmer device was used - and seems more likely that criminals accessed the company's servers - or installed malware on point-of-sale machines. The company is now working with a third-party forensics team to identify how the breach occurred, and to ensure it doesn't happen again in the future.

Customers should contact their banks and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) if any fraudulent activity is detected. The U.S. Secret Service and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) are currently helping with the ongoing investigation. Online Target shoppers do not need to worry about the data breach.


An experienced tech journalist and marketing specialist, Michael joins TweakTown looking to cover everything from consumer electronics to enterprise cloud technology. A former Staff Writer at DailyTech, Michael is now the West Coast News Editor and will contribute news stories on a daily basis. In addition to contributing here, Michael also runs his own tech blog,, while he looks to remain busy in the tech world.

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