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Target security breach is a disaster

There was news of a security breach at Target during the holiday season which shook customers up, but did not seem to seriously hurt enthusiasm for holiday shopping. However, the extent of this problem is proving to be a lot larger than initially thought. The massive Target security breach could have lasting effects, reports Money News on Jan. 10, 2014.

Shoppers at a Target store in New York City.
Thos Robinson/Getty Images

It now appears that the aftershocks from Target's pre-Christmas security breach will probably effect the company's sales and profits far into the new year. Target has disclosed that the massive data theft was much more extensive and affected millions more shoppers than the firm reported in December. Experts say millions of customers are vulnerable to identity theft because of the breach. Target has revealed hackers stole personal information, which included names and phone numbers as well as email and mailing addresses, from as many as 70 million customers as part of the data breach it discovered in December.

CBS has confirmed Target says the data breach was bigger than previously thought. A forensics investigation is said to have found that certain customer information which is separate from the payment card data previously disclosed, was stolen during the data breach. The firm said it will contact customers for whom Target has an email address.

If firms like Target won't protect privacy, they should have to pay fines, according to the Los Angeles Times. It is said companies leave customer information vulnerable to hackers because better safeguards would cost the firms money. Fines for data breaches could potentially change their attitudes about implementing better security. The technology is available to encrypt data, which makes it unintelligible to anyone who lacks an encryption key. The Los Angeles Times makes a good point.

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