Tags: target | sued | data | breach

Target Sued Over Data Breach That May Have Compromised 40M Customers

By Ken Mandel   |   Friday, 20 Dec 2013 04:43 PM

Target Corp. is being sued by a Christmas shopper who claims she may have been exposed to identify theft as a result of the security breach acknowledged by the discount retailer.

Filed on Thursday, the federal lawsuit by California resident Jennifer Kirk alleges that stolen data may allow for the counterfeiting of credit cards and could reveal customers' personal codes for debit cards. Target said Thursday that information was stolen from Nov. 27 to Dec. 15 — which potentially affects up to 40 million customers — and notified authorities and financial institutions.

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"Target failed to implement and maintain reasonable security procedures and practices appropriate to the nature and scope of the information compromised in the data breach," the complaint against Target alleges, according to Bloomberg News.

Target, which operates nearly 1,800 stores in the U.S., said the incident occurred when a computer virus infiltrated the terminals at registers where shoppers swipe their credit or debit cards to purchase items.

Kirk seeks to represent other affected customers in a class-action lawsuit. Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder declined comment to Bloomberg News.

TJX Companies, which operates T.J. Maxx and Marshall's stores, was the victim of the largest security breach, in 2006. That one affected more 94 million domestic and international accounts with credit card, debit card ,and check information, including 65 million Visa customers. Ten months later, Visa reported between $68 million and $83 million in fraud-related losses to banks and other institutions.

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