Target was breached by hackers during the holiday season this year, leaving the attackers with more than 70 million credit card numbers from shoppers who had visited Target’s retail stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The U.S. government is concerned enough with the attack that the Justice Department recently confirmed it’s investigating exactly what happened, and how.
“While we generally do not discuss specific matters under investigation, I can confirm the Department is investigating the breach involving U.S. retailer, Target,” Attorney General Eric Holder said Wednesday while testifying before the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary on the Justice Department’s priorities right now. “And we are committed to working to find not only the perpetrators of these sorts of data breaches – but also any individuals and groups who exploit that data via credit card fraud.”
The frightening part is that it appears that the attacking parties have yet to be identified, which means neither Target nor the U.S. government know whose hands the personal data and credit card information fell into. Holder stressed that the Justice Department “takes seriously reports of any data breach, particularly those involving personally identifiable or financial information,” and that it will continue to enforce privacy protection on data that’s kept by companies we entrust with our data – like Target – and the government.