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Target: Free Credit Report Plus 10 Discount for Shoppers After Breach

Image: Target: Free Credit Report Plus 10 Discount for Shoppers After Breach

By Alexandra Ward   |   Monday, 23 Dec 2013 02:08 PM

Target is offering a free credit report to customers who are wondering whether they were affected by the massive credit and debit card security breach at the retailer earlier this month.

The chain store also gave all shoppers a 10 percent off discount Saturday and Sunday.

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"To date, we are hearing very few reports of actual fraud, but are closely monitoring the situation. We want to reassure guests that they will not be held financially responsible for any credit card or debit card fraud," Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement Friday. "And to provide guests with extra assurance, we will be offering free credit monitoring services."

Between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15, hackers ripped off data from an estimated 40 million credit and debit accounts from nearly every Target store in the country.

A Secret Service investigator told CBS News last week that the card data was stolen through malicious software that hackers installed on the terminal machines where customers swipe their credit or debit cards during checkout.

"The type of data stolen — also known as 'track data' — allows crooks to create counterfeit cards by encoding the information onto any card with a magnetic stripe," Krebs on Security, a popular security industry blog, reported. "If the thieves also were able to intercept PIN data for debit transactions, they would theoretically be able to reproduce stolen debit cards and use them to withdraw cash from ATMs."

"This unauthorized access is a crime, and we are taking it very seriously. While we can't provide specifics because the investigation is ongoing, we are working closely with the United States Secret Service to bring those responsible to justice," Target said.

While the Target incident ranks high among all-time security breaches, the biggest retailer credit and debit card security breach was made public in 2007 when TJX Cos, which owns TJ Maxx and Marshalls, claimed hackers stole data from 45.7 million customer cards. Court documents later revealed that the suspects could have obtained more than 94 million account numbers.

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