Bloomberg Businessweek has published a cover story that slams Target for not doing enough to prevent the massive hack of customer data.
The hack affected 40 million people who shopped at Target between Black Friday and Dec. 15. Hackers stole the information that’s stored on the magnetic strip on the backs of credit and debit cards. They pulled it off by installing malware in the company’s security and payments system.
Bloomberg’s cover story says the hack wasn’t “particularly inventive” and that Target was warned about the malware by its security specialists in Bangalore. The company reportedly chose not to act on the warning.
Here’s the cover, which is interactive within the story:
The story is pretty damning. From Businessweek:
Bloomberg Businessweek spoke to more than 10 former Target employees familiar with the company’s data security operation, as well as eight people with specific knowledge of the hack and its aftermath, including former employees, security researchers, and law enforcement officials. The story they tell is of an alert system, installed to protect the bond between retailer and customer, that worked beautifully. But then, Target stood by as 40 million credit card numbers — and 70 million addresses, phone numbers, and other pieces of personal information — gushed out of its mainframes.
Target gave this statement to Businessweek:
“Target was certified as meeting the standard for the payment card industry (PCI) in September 2013. Nonetheless, we suffered a data breach. As a result, we are conducting an end-to-end review of our people, processes and technology to understand our opportunities to improve data security and are committed to learning from this experience. While we are still in the midst of an ongoing investigation, we have already taken significant steps, including beginning the overhaul of our information security structure and the acceleration of our transition to chip-enabled cards. However, as the investigation is not complete, we don’t believe it’s constructive to engage in speculation without the benefit of the final analysis.”
The whole story has great art, which makes the criticism that much more biting:
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