Target revealed today that the massive security breach that hit 40 million customers’ credit and debit cards also encompasses the personal information of 70 million people.
As a part of its investigation into the breach, the retailer said that the attackers who stole millions of credit cards also got email addresses, phone numbers, names and mailing addresses for other customers. The company said that much of the information that was taken was incomplete, so while it will try to email affected customers, not all of the records that were taken had email addresses associated with them.
“I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this,” Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a press release.
Target shoppers should be wary: scammers have been known to use databases like that one to scam people out of even more money using the spectre of the original data breach.
As should be expected, Target’s sales took a beating following the breach. As a part of its press release today, the company also downgraded its earnings per share guidance to between $1.20 and $1.30 per share, down from $1.50 to $1.60 per share, because of decreased sales following the breach. That’s good news for Amazon and other retailers who were able to pick up the company’s slack during the holiday shopping season.
The company will be offering a free year of credit monitoring to any of its customers, but it’s unclear whether that will restore confidence in Target’s security.