Do any Black Friday shopping this year? Target confirms 40 million accounts hacked
posted Thursday, December 19, 2013 at 3:04 PM EDT
Every year, millions of Americans descend on big box stores for Black Friday, braving foul weather and large crowds for often mediocre sales. But if you picked up one of Target's Black Friday camera deals, you might want to keep an eye on your bank statement, because Target has now confirmed that a security breach has seen 40 million user accounts affected.
This isn't just a situation where online accounts have been exposed. The customer names, their card numbers, and the cards CCV and expiration dates were all in the affected data. The breach was specifically in stores, not online, and if you shopped at Target from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15, 2013, you may be hit. Apparently, the fact that the CVV codes were part of the stolen data is especially problematic, as Target wasn't meant to be storing that information anyway.
Target has turned to the Secret Service to help investigate the crime, but the fact that the problem occurred in the stores themselves should be especially worrying. That means that it was likely happening at the point of sale itself, before all the data was encrypted.
So if you're one of the tens of millions who shopped at Target in late November or early December, all you can really do is keep an eye on your credit and debit card activity, and if something untoward happens, contact your bank.