Checking in With the Massive Target Data Breech

Written by Alex Bach

The breech of retail giant Target at the end of 2013 was one of the biggest data breeches in history. Uploading their malware, hackers were able to steal the financial information of 110 million customers. Let’s check in with the breech and see what’s happened in the months since.

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Target’s Amends:

In order to atone for the massive data breech, Target has offered to supply victims of the attack with one year of free credit monitoring–a very valuable service many people have begun paying for in light of the attack.

Increase in Data Security Demand:

While Target suffered a devastating loss, many data security companies have seen a windfall of business in light of the attack. The sheer size of the attack served as a wake-up call to many Americans who realized–some too late–that their data was vulnerable and that you didn’t have to get your wallet stolen in order to find yourself dealing with financial theft.

The Investigation Continues:

Though it’s now well believed the source of the hack came from hackers in Russia, there still have been no arrests made–other than two Mexican nationals that were caught at the border with about 1oo credits with numbers taken from the breech. The same malware appears to have also been used in the Neiman Marcus data breech. US State’s Attorney Eric Holder continues to assert the crime is being investigated.

An Early Warning?:

USA Today recently reported that Target may have been warned of vulnerability at least 2 months before the devastating attack took place.  The report states that an intelligence analyst with the company had suggested the company perform a security review before the retailer installed new terminal updates. The suggestion came after memos emerged from the US government and private firms warning of malware attacks specifically targeting payment terminals.


The most recent news on the Target breech concerns their Chief Information Officer’s resignation. It was announced on March 7th that Target’s CIO Beth Jacobs would be resigning from her duties. It isn’t immediately apparent weather this was a forced leave or a voluntary leave.  As Target is undergoing a massive security overhaul, the departure of Jacobs was likely a necessary venture if only from a PR standpoint.