The damage done by Targets data breach extends well beyond just credit card numbers, according to an extended internal investigation.
If youve shopped at a Target and paid with a credit card within the last six months, theres a good chance that you were affected by a recent data breach. It was suspected that roughly 40 million credit cards were accessed from Targets POS system between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, 2013 . A more in depth investigation has revealed that theres now 70 million affected users, and whoever was responsible for the breach took a whole lot more than card numbers.
Theres still a lot more information needed in order to figure out exactly what has happened with this breach, specifically why Target was storing this information in the first place and how the information was taken. In the mean time, Target has announced customers will have zero liability for fraudulent charges that come from the breach. Additionally, they are now offering a year of free ID theft protection and monitoring for affected customers. Users have three months to enroll in the program starting today.
In the mean time, several security experts have spoken out on what users should be doing to protect themselves. Tony Anscombe of AVG Technologies has advised that users replace their credit or debit cards immediately if they think theres a chance they are part of the breach, and to take advantage of the free theft protection. He also advises that users keep an eye on their credit score and try to use a different email address if possible.