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Target Briefs Attorneys General on Hack Investigation

Legal concerns continue to mount in the wake of Target experiencing a large-scale data breach during the busy holiday season, resulting in more than 40 million customer debit and credit cards being compromised.

Thursday, December 26, 2013
State attorneys general are getting involved in the investigation of Target's data breach.

Legal concerns continue to mount in the wake of Target experiencing a large-scale data breach during the busy holiday season, resulting in more than 40 million customer debit and credit cards being compromised.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Target general counsel Tim Baer held a half-hour call with attorneys general for several states updating them on investigation progress and disclosing the specific information that was illegally accessed. A count on the number of authorities present was not determined, but the paper reported a follow-up meeting was scheduled for the early days of 2014.

"We felt it was important to bring this group together to provide them with information about the issue and answer their questions," a Target spokeswoman said in an email to the WSJ. "We are committed to keeping the attorneys general informed as the ongoing investigation moves forward."

Reportedly, attorneys general for Connecticut, Massachusetts, New York and South Dakota have all put out statements offering guidance to consumers. The officials have not yet opened their own inquiries into the data breach - as Target continues to work with federal and state governments - but have not ruled out the possibility, the WSJ reported.

Debate Over Exposure of PIN Number
Officially, Target has said debit and credit card accounts were included in the breach, but denies the hacking of personal data like birth dates, Social Security numbers and PIN codes.

Reuters reported sources at a major U.S. bank have reason to believe PIN numbers were stolen, and that thieves may be able to figure out encryption codes. Security experts told the source that action taken to reduce withdrawal limits by JPMorgan Chase & Co and other banks is unusual, and further reinforces the belief those financial institutions fear PIN numbers are now in possession of criminals.



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