Target Hack Attack and Identity Theft Went On Longer than Previously Believed
Target’s CFO announced today during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing that the hack attack in December 2013 went on longer than officials previously reported.
John Mulligan, Chief Financial Officer for Target Corp, said that the company recently learned that malware on about 25 additional checkout machines continued to steal credit and debit card information three days after December 15th, when Target officials initially reported they had cleared the hacking software from their computers.
The machines reportedly remained infected because they were temporarily offline when Target first removed the malware from the hack attack. However, the oversight added less than 150 credit and debit cards to the 40 million already believed to be stolen during the original dates of November 27th and December 15th.
The hackers stole other identity information as well, including email addresses and phone numbers, putting 70 million people at risk of identity theft.
The Target hack attack hearing is the first of four hearings scheduled in the first week of February to discuss cybercrime and identity theft. Legislators will question Target and other retailers regarding how much they knew and what steps they took during hack attacks or other cyber security breaches. Representatives from Neiman Marcus also testified on Tuesday.
Secret Service and FBI Says Lawmakers Can Help Prevent Hack Attacks
The Secret Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation are both urging US lawmakers to do more to help prevent hack attacks and cybercrimes that result in stolen identities.
“Legislative action could help to improve the nation’s cybersecurity, reduce regulatory costs on U.S. companies, and strengthen law enforcement’s ability to conduct effective investigations,” said William Noonan, a top agent with the Secret Service’s cyber operations branch.
Noonan also testified at the Senate Banking Committee hearing on the subject of better cyber security for consumers’ personal information.
“The recently reported data breaches of Target and Neiman Marcus are just the most recent, well-publicized examples of this decade-long trend,” Noonan said. He said that hack attacks and identity theft are often transnational in nature, and lead to “significant data breaches affecting every sector of the world economy.”
Congress has been struggling for years to create legislation for data security to prevent hack attacks and prosecute those responsible, whether they are sluggish CEOs or international criminals. For example, there is currently no standard governing when and how businesses that suffer hack attacks must contact their customers regarding the potential identity theft.
“The banks have delayed; the retailers have delayed; the government has delayed,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren said. “And the ones who paid the price are the consumers whose data are being stolen.”
Identity Theft Through Hack Attacks Can Hurt Your Future
If you have experienced identity theft, whether from a hack attack or robbery, you are not alone. The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help clear your name and even reinstate your social security benefits. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Do not hesitate to contact us. 803.252.4800