Lewis Diuguid

August 25, 2014

Target likely ahead of other companies hit by hackers

Malware that is undetectable by antivirus products allows hackers to capture customer’s names, addresses, email addresses and payment card information. American consumers’ information then is being sold — many involving U.S. companies that don’t know their systems have been affected.

It’s not good news, but at least Target won’t feel so terribly alone.

According to a new Department of Homeland Security advisory released Friday, more than 1,000 U.S. businesses have been affected by cyberattacks that initially jolted Target, Supervalu and UPS Stores.

The attacks are more widespread than previously thought potentially affecting millions of U.S. consumers, The New York Times reports. Homeland Security, the Secret Service, the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center and others in the security industry cautioned companies to check their in-store cash register system for malware that is undetectable by antivirus products.

It enables hackers to capture customer’s names, addresses, email addresses and payment card information. American consumers’ information then is being sold — many involving U.S. companies that don’t know their systems have been affected.

Target, the nation’s third largest retailer, was hit last year, potentially exposing up to 70 million credit and debit card accounts, including names, phone numbers and other personal information. That rattled consumers and has had a dramatic affect on Target sales.

But the widespread nature of the latest government revelation, may cause people to go back to Target. Because it was hit early, it now may be the safest place for people to shop with plastic.

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