The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a suspected theft of customers’ credit-card and debit-card data at Target Corp., the second-largest discount chain.
Brian Leary, a spokesman for the Secret Service in Washington, confirmed the agency is probing the matter while declining any further comment because the investigation is underway.
Target was subjected to an extensive theft of its customers’ card data over the Black Friday weekend, the Wall Street Journal reported today, citing people familiar with the matter. The theft was across the country, not online, and may have involved interference with the machines customers use to swipe their cards, the newspaper said.
A message left with an operator at Minneapolis-based Target’s media hotline after hours wasn’t immediately returned.
The breach may have affected about 40,000 card devices at store registers, meaning that millions of cardholders could be vulnerable, the Journal said, citing the people familiar with the incident.
Target has 1,797 stores in the U.S. and 124 in Canada.
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