Target breach now affecting 110 million consumers

Last month, all eyes of the retail world were on Target, after it was revealed that it was the victim of the data security breach during the busiest shopping period of the year. It was a topic of conversation for business owners and consumers alike. The initial number of customer credit and debit cards impacted was 40 million, however, after investigating it seems that number has nearly doubled.

According to a disclosure from Target this week, the number of consumers who have had their names, mailing addresses, phone numbers, email addresses and payment card data compromised has risen to as many as 110 million. The statement added that this does not represent a new breach, but instead includes sets of partial data that was stolen.

"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," Gregg Steinhafel, the Target chief executive, said in the statement. "I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team."

This breach has affected Target in more than just reputation. The fourth quarter sales numbers fell 2.5 percent compared to last year. On top of that, earning rose from $1.20 per share to $1.30 per share, though that is down from the $1.60 per share that was expected. The complete financial cost of the breach has not been disclosed.

This shows how important it is for organizations to have their credit card processing software secure at all times as the fallout can be monumental.

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