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11 January 2014

Hackers target – Target

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It would appear that hackers do not take a break from their malicious activities, even over the holidays. At the height of this year’s holiday shopping season, Target revealed that its security systems had been breached and upwards of 40 million credit card holders could have had their data stolen. The bombshell news sent the value of Target stock into decline with an immediate drop of 2%. Analysts noted that “The timing of the [Target] news is particularly bad,” said MKM Partners analyst Patrick McKeever. “It’s right in front of the Saturday before Christmas, the biggest day of the year for many retailers. We do think there could be some negative impact to [quarterly] sales, and there will very likely be a cost, both in dollars and in management time [and] attention.” (McKeever, 2013) The investigation of the Target breach is just beginning, but by all accounts it could have a serious impact on sales at the organization reaching untold millions of dollars of lost revenue and the public’s good will. Cheng, (2013) wrote that “…consumers’ perception of the company has plunged to a six-year low. Industry analysts say it could take months for nation’s No. 2 U.S. discounter’s image to recover.” Crosman, (2013) writes that “What is known is that the cybercriminals have obtained the basic account data stored on the magnetic stripes of the credit and debit cards – information such as name, account number and card expiration data. And they’re selling the card data on underground websites.”

The lawsuits regarding the recent Target breach have already started. Paramaguru, (2013) writes that “Target was hit with a lawsuit Thursday amid the news that hackers had breached the retailer’s systems and compromised as many as 40 million customers’ credit and debt card data”  (p. 1). The lawsuit contends that Target failed to exercise due diligence and did not have in place “reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature and scope of the information compromised in the data breach” (p.1).

 

Sources

Cheng, (2013) Retrieved from the internet on 12/20/2013 at http://blogs.marketwatch.com/behindthestorefront/2013/12/19/targets-card-breach-delivers-a-rude-christmas-surprise/

Crosman, (2013) Retrieved from the internet on 12/24/2013 at http://www.americanbanker.com/issues/178_243/40-million-dollar-target-data-breach-has-become-a-card-data-fire-sale-krebs-1064445-1.html

McKeever, (2013) Retrieved from the internet on 12/21/2013 at http://blogs.marketwatch.com/behindthestorefront/2013/12/19/targets-card-breach-delivers-a-rude-christmas-surprise/

Paramaguru, K. (2013). “Target sued for credit card hack”. Time.com. 12/20/2103.

Ruppret, (2009) Retrieved from the internet on 12/20/2013 at http://www.sans.org/reading-room/whitepapers/incident/protecting-insider-attacks-33168?show=protecting-insider-attacks-33168&cat=incident