DOJ's Holder says agency is investigating Target data breach

The agency generally doesn't discuss investigations but veered from its protocol

The US Department of Justice is investigating the data breach at Target stores, which compromised as many as 110 million payment cards and personal records in one of the largest such attacks on record.

Attorney General Eric Holder told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that "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 DOJ veered from its normal protocol in revealing its probe. Holder said the DOJ generally does not discuss matters under investigation but did not say why it made an exception in this case. The U.S. Secret Service is also investigating, and other cyberdefense organizations in the U.S. government are contributing.

Target disclosed earlier this month that its payment networks were infected with malicious software that stole payment card details. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus reported a similar attack.

Michaels, an arts and crafts chain, said on Saturday it was alerting customers after possible unauthorized charges were discovered from cards used at its stores. The company said it is investigating whether a breach occurred.

The Target data breach has led computer security experts to study the economy around stolen card data. It is suspected that many more retailers may have been compromised, with attackers focusing on point-of-sale devices.

The malware used against Target was a "RAM scraper," which intercepted unencrypted payment card data on the POS device. It is unknown how intruders gained access to Target's network, but it appears they gained wide leverage, taking more than 11GB of data.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags CriminalU.S. Department of JusticeTargetsecuritydata breachlegaldata protectioncybercrime

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

David Coyle

Brother PocketJet PJ-773 A4 Portable Thermal Printer

I rate the printer as a 5 out of 5 stars as it has been able to fit seamlessly into my busy and mobile lifestyle.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?