Target: 40 Million Credit/Debit Cards Compromised

I think everyone’s heard the news by now, but if not, here’s a link to the with more info:

It appears folks that physically shopped at the Target stores across the US were impacted – anyone who purchased online are safe.  It’s still not clear how the breach occurred, though it will be interesting to see how these hackers actually did it.  According to theories I’ve seen on Twitter and the article, hackers must have compromised the POS systems.  I doubt card skimmers were used for this scheme, similar to what was found at Nordstrom stores in October of this year.  The sheer number of affected stores and the number of credit cards stolen would probably point to the theory that the POS system software was compromised.

At this point, hackers have all card related information, including the CVV security code.  This is bad news for folks that regularly use debit cards – those hackers can wipe out your checking and/or savings account, assuming they also have your PIN.  At this point, we’re not sure, but better to be safe than sorry and assume so.

Personally, I don’t use my debit card at all for daily purchases, for just this reason.  I would rather have my credit card maxed out, if it were stolen, and call the credit card company and mark those purchases as fraudulent.  If your checking/savings account is wiped out, sure, you will most likely get your money back, but why risk your money by using a debit card, use the credit card companies money to protect yourself.

If you shopped at Target between Nov. 27 & Dec. 15, closely monitor your credit charges.  I would even recommend changing your debit card PIN if you think you used it at a Target Store – just in case.


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