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Target Customers Watch Fearfully

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Target Customers Watch Fearfully

Here at Finances.com we hope everyone had a great holiday season! Were you one of the many shoppers who purchased a gift at Target this year? Well, if you did you should be checking your bank statements extra closely in the coming weeks. Shares of Target have moved to the downside over the last week following safety scares and a security breach.

Hackers attacked Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) and compromised up to 40 million credit cards and debit cards heading into the peak of the holiday shopping season. Now it is believed the same hackers also managed to steal encrypted personal identification numbers (PINs) of the customers, according to a senior payments executive familiar with the situation. Up until today, payment analysts had not reported that customer pins had been compromised.

Following the break-in reports, a number of financial institutions have taken precautionary steps to protect themselves and their customers. One major U.S. financial institution fears that the thieves would be able to crack the encryption code and make fraudulent withdrawals from consumer bank accounts. Companies including J.P. Morgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) have put withdraw limits on ATM withdrawals for their customers. Target did comment of the news:

“We continue to have no reason to believe that PIN data, whether encrypted or unencrypted, was compromised. And we have not been made aware of any such issue in communications with financial institutions to date,” said a high level individual at the company.

In the coming weeks the extent of the security break should become more clear. Watch shares of the company in response to new security data. More selling pressure may accompany greater fear of loss. At the time of this writing, shares of Target were higher by a percent to $62.32 per share.

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