Target Corp. Reported A 4 percent increase in second-quarter profits

Target’s been in our headlines a few times recently, but primarily for holiday deals it has been offering. Today, however, it’s in the news for a totally different reason, and one that’s a bit more concerning. The retail giant confirmed reports that hackers were able to break into its systems right around the Black Friday time period and had access to more than 40 million stored credit card and debit card numbers.

Shoppers who made purchases inside Target retail stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 should be particularly concerned, as that was the data that hackers had access to. We recommend being vigilant if you’ve shopped there at all recently, however, since Target still doesn’t appear to know the extent of the damage or exactly how it happened.

“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence,” Target’s CEO, chairman and president Gregg Steinhafel said. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause. We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice.”

Target said it has already contacted authorities and financial institutions, but you may want to contact your own bank if you’ve shopped at Target recently. KrebsonSecurity, which first reported the breach, suggests that the hackers who did steal the data are likely trying to create counterfeit cards using the “track data” stolen from Target. Sources speaking to KrebsonSecurity suspect this could be one of the largest retail hacks ever.