In the news

U.S. PIRG
|
Washington Post
By
Craig Timberg, Jia Lynn Yang and Hayley Tsukayama

Hackers gained access to as many as 40 million credit and debit cards used by customers of Target during the height of the holiday shopping season, the company reported Thursday, in one of the biggest data breaches in history.

Company officials offered few details on the intrusion, which reportedly began the day before Thanksgiving and lasted until Sunday this week. Security experts said that the kind of information stolen – including names, card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes – could allow criminals to make fraudulent purchases almost anywhere in the world. [...]

“You want people to trust in your products,” said Ed Mierzwinski, consumer program director for U .S. PIRG, a Boston-based consumer group. “Target’s obviously got a big problem, and they’ve got to do something about it.” [...]

It’s an arms race. And the crooks are almost always ahead of the game,” said Beth Givens, founder of the nonprofit consumer advocacy group Privacy Rights Clearinghouse, which tracks data breaches. “The fraud investigators and law enforcement are almost perpetually in catch-up mode.”

[NOTE: ALSO SEE NEWS RELEASE FROM U.S. PIRG AND OTHER GROUPS OFFERING CONSUMER TIPS TO AVOID IDENTITY THEFT.]

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