It turns out that the much-publicized data breach that Target announced last month is way bigger than previously revealed. Target announced in December that 40 million credit and debit card accounts had been impacted between November 27th and December 15th. Hackers reportedly gained access to card numbers, expiration dates and security codes.
On Friday, Target announced that up to 70 million individuals had other information stolen. This includes names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
This was found in the company's continuing forensic investigation of the data breach. It should be noted that this is separate from the previously announced payment card data.
"This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation," the company said in a statement. "Much of this data is partial in nature, but in cases where Target has an email address, the Company will attempt to contact affected guests. This communication will be informational, including tips to guard against consumer scams. Target will not ask those guests to provide any personal information as part of that communication."
The company is also offering said tips on its site.
“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” said Target president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel. "I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team.”
The company says cusotmers will assume zero liability on any fraudulent charges, and Target is offering a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all guests who shopped in its U.S. stores. More on this here.
Target also took the opportunity to reduce its outlook for the fourth quarter thanks to "meaningfully weaker-than-expected sales" since the initial data breach announcement.
“In light of the recent data breach, our top priority is taking care of our guests and helping them feel confident in shopping at Target,” said CFO John Mulligan. "At the same time, we remain keenly focused on driving profitable top-line growth and investing our resources to deliver superior financial results over time. While we are disappointed in our 2013 performance, we continue to manage our business with great discipline and leverage our expense optimization efforts to reinvest in multichannel initiatives that generate long-term value for our shareholders.”
With that, Target announced the closing of eight U.S. stores on May 3rd. These are located in West Dundee, Ill.; Las Vegas, Nev.; North Las Vegas, Nev.; Duluth, GA; Memphis, Tenn.; Orange Park, Fla.; Middletown, Ohio; and Trotwood, Ohio.
Image via Target Facebook Page