UNDATED (WSAU-Wheeler News) Target confirmed this morning that up to 40-million of its customers could have had their debit-or-credit card information stolen in a security breach. Media reports said customers at nearly all U-S Target stores -- including about 40 in Wisconsin -- had their data stolen when they swiped their cards at checkout counters when completing their purchases.
Target said it happened from day before Thanksgiving through last Sunday. The Minneapolis-based department store chain said it's working closely with law enforcement and financial institutions, and they've resolved the issue. The Secret Service confirms an investigation, but won't say any more.
Target said customers can now use their cards with confidence, as more shoppers are expected to hit the stores with Christmas just six days away. The company told customers to monitor their card-and-bank statements for any signs of identity theft -- and to report suspicious activity to their card issuers and Target immediately.
Former newspaper reporter Brian Krebs broke the story on his "Krebs on Security" blog. He tells the Saint Paul Pioneer Press there's no way of knowing if any of the stolen data has been fraudulently used yet. He says the data normally has to be sold to black market buyers first -- and it could be months before any of it is used, if ever.
Target said the breach did not affect the company's online shopping site.