Target To Testify Before Congress Over Colossal Data Breach

By: Josh Wolford - January 16, 2014

The House subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade will hold a hearing during the first week of February to “examine data breaches and their effect on consumers” – and Target is the guest of honor.

As you may recall, back in December the retail giant announced a massive data breach, claiming that criminals had gained access to customer information around Black Friday and held on to it for nearly two weeks. At first, Target said that approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been compromised. Later, the company upped that approximation to about 70 million accounts.

“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 at the time.

In an attempt to smooth things over, Target offered a year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all customers who shopped at a U.S. store. Of course, Target also said that no customer would assume liability for fraudulent charges.

Nevertheless, lawmakers in Washington see the massive Target breach as a symptom of a growing trend – the large-scale consumer data breach.

“Tens of millions of Americans have had their information compromised in recent weeks, and consumers deserve to know what information has been taken and the potential threats that exist. By examining these recent breaches and their consequences on consumers, we hope to gain a better understanding of the nature of these crimes and what steps can be taken to further protect information and limit cyber threats,” said Commerce, Manufacturing, and Trade Subcommittee Chairman Lee Terry (R-NE) in congressional release.

Law enforcement officials will also be part of the hearing.

“For those consumers concerned they have been a victim of a data breach, we want them to know that there are resources available and actions they can take to help protect their identity and account information. Public awareness is a critical first defense, and our alert provides consumers with proactive steps they can take to avoid or lessen consequences of these criminal activities. This subcommittee has had several hearings on data breach and we will continue aggressively working to safeguard Americans in this increasingly digital world.”

Image via Wikimedia Commons

Josh Wolford

About the Author

Josh WolfordJosh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf

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    I wouldn’t be surprised if it was someone within the government who stole the cards. Really think about this. The NSA is literally on every server in the world. How they get around American regulations is they go in through and overseas server and then back track to the US. The whole point of a network is to connect things so at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you start — you can get anywhere. So technically you never hacked an American system. You hacked a foreign enemy of the state. Now, you are an analyst at the NSA and someone asks you to hack target. They then tell you that you will never be caught because the NSA will ultimately be the ones looking for the hacker. You can do anything.

    Listen people, I know everyone wants to “trust” their government but the reality is that they are caught lying all the time. The Pentagon lost 2.3 trillion and some people actually say that they actually lost 9.1 trillion. Do you really think that money is lost? It is going somewhere. Where? Of course, we know it is going to black projects, but how do you know the people in the black projects aren’t moving it somewhere too. We don’t. The reality is that people in the government are in the best positions to steal money. It is like a cop who kills someone on the job. Every freaking cop out there will cover for him. We have seen it a billion times.

    My guess. Look at the people spying on the American public first. You know they are looking at corporations too. They admitted it!