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Economy & Business

The Larger Implications of the Target Data Breach


The massive data breach that occurred at Target stores at the beginning of the holiday season was thought to affect 40 million customers.

With estimates expanded Friday to more than 100 million, it’s believed that names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses have been compromised along with credit and debit card numbers.

The questions now are, "Is this attack different than other security breaches?" and "What should a person do who has been affected by this type of a security breach?" Answering these questions are Andy Tornasi, a Federal Project Manager for Tiversa, and Orion Czarnecki, a Cyber Forensic Analyst at Tiversa.

Tornasi says this breach is different from any case he has dealt with in the past.

“This is the first time that I ever heard of malware affecting the point of sale for a particular store."

Czarnecki has this advice for those who were affected by the Target breach or the recent breach at Neiman Marcus stores.

“If you expect that you’ve been part of a breach, if you expect that you’ve seen some indication that you’re part of a compromise such as this: first of all check your statements, go over line by line your bank account, login, see where it's at, see what you’re seeing on your credit card statement at the end of the month, and call your card issuer. Target was very responsive early on when they finally came out with the news of this, with who to call. They provided an 800 number that consumers can call to see if they’ve been affected.”

Answers to frequently asked questions about the Target data breach can be found here.