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Target data breach: Customers at risk, Target credit card breach being probed

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A massive Target data breach has put all customers at risk. News was just released that the Target credit card security breach involves stolen credit card information at every one of the nearly 1,800 stores around the nation. USA Today reports Dec. 19 that the Secret Service is probing the "potential" data breach that contains stolen credit card information from shoppers.

"The Secret Service will confirm it is investigating the incident at Target," the store's spokesman, Brian Leary, said Wednesday. "We don't have any further comment because it's an ongoing investigation."

According to the investigation so far, potential breach began around Black Friday -- Nov. 29 -- and has continued until Dec. 15. The Target data breach was the result hackers getting credit card information magnetic strips on the back of the cards that contains stored information on them. This happened at nearly every one of the Target stores.

So far it appears that the security breach is directed at Target, MasterCard communications vice president, James Issokson, told USA Today.

The report went on to reveal that data breaches happen to companies large or small. Experts say they are typically not prepared when they are under attack. Forensics experts are usually brought in to stop the cyber attacks. This kind of thing is not uncommon, but it is only the large businesses that make the news. Any business that handles personal data of its customers is vulnerable to theft.

The Target credit card breach so far has not impacted online purchases that have been made. It has occurred in the retailer's stores and has allowed hackers to create fake credit cards and possibly get pin numbers that would enable them to withdraw cash from ATM machines.

This Target credit card security breach is unsettling to say the last. Target, major credit card companies, and the Secret Service are on top of the investigation. If there was not a good enough reason before to keep a close eye on your credit card activity, the Target data breach just gave you a good one!

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