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Target Data Breach Affected Up to 110 Million Customers; Retailer Offers Free Identity Theft Protection

( [email protected] ) Jan 10, 2014 05:09 PM EST
Over 70 million Target customers' data - name, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses - were stolen by hackers during the holiday shopping season, the company's spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

Over 70 million Target customers' data - name, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses - were stolen by hackers during the holiday shopping season, the company's spokeswoman confirmed Friday.

The announcement of the security breach is not new. On Dec. 19, Target initially said that debit and credit card information for over 40 million customers was pilfered during the holiday discount season between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. Moreover, the retailer reported a week later that the hackers had accessed "strongly encrypted" personal identification numbers.

"I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are sorry they are having to endure this," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer.  "Our guests expect more from us and deserve better. And I want them to know that understanding and sharing the facts is important to me and the entire Target team."

The retailer has guaranteed that customers will have zero liability for the cost of any fraudulent charges arising from the breach. To provide further peace of mind, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all Target guests who shopped U.S. stores. Guests will have three months to enroll in the program. Additional details will be shared next week.

Customers can check the Data Breach Issues Hub for further updates as additional information becomes available.