Cumberland Times-News

Opinion

December 19, 2013

Security slip

Major retailer reveals theft of account information

If ever there was an exclamation point put on the danger of fraudulent credit card activity during the holidays, it is Target’s revelation that credit and debit account information for 40 million of its customers may have been stolen over the last couple of weeks.

The retailer, which has more than 1,500 stores throughout the U.S., said the customer names, debit or credit card numbers, card expiration dates were taken, along with the three-digit security codes often imprinted on the backs of cards, known as CVVs. With that information, it would be easy for criminals to ring up purchases on most websites.

The breach apparently occurred for customers who shopped in a Target store between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The company said customers who made online transactions are not affected by the breach.

“Target’s first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence,” Gregg Steinhafel, Target’s chairman, president and chief executive officer said in a statement. “We regret any inconvenience this may cause.”

Target said it immediately notified law enforcement authorities and financial institutions after discovering the breach, though this is its first notice to customers. It is also working with a third-party forensics firm to investigate the incident and strengthen its systems, the company said.

Several news organizations said the Secret Service is investigating how the credit information fell into the hands of hackers.

Consumers hear repeated warning about identify theft. They also are told to be careful to select a secure web site when shopping online. But in this case, the problem occurred not via the Internet, but at the brick and mortar stores.

It’s doubtful that scams and security breaches will ever be eliminated entirely in the retail environment. Using caution while shopping will always be good advice. We can only hope that retailers will be able to find more sophisticated ways of stopping credit information breaches before they occur.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • Preposterous Preposterous

    File this one under the We Thought We’d Heard Everything category: A man who attempted the armed robbery of a pizza shop is now suing the pizzeria and the employees who tackled him and wrestled his gun away during the holdup.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Legion honor guard available to honor veterans at their funerals

    We in the honor guard of Fort Cumberland Post 13, American Legion, performed 196 veterans service in 2013.

    July 22, 2014

  • No secrets No secrets

    The idea of fracturing for natural gas makes many people anxious about potential harmful effects. For that reason alone, it is incumbent on Maryland government to require full disclosure of chemicals used in the process.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Remember, we’re not immune to extinction

    I’d like to pose a theoretical scenario to Cal Thomas.

    If a medical specialist said, “Cal, you’ve got a serious physical problem. Do nothing and you’ll die soon. Follow my prescription, which involves certain life-style changes, and there’s a good probability you’ll live, even if your life may be a bit more constrained than now.”

    July 21, 2014

  • America has three branches of government for good reasons

    “Mikulski Calls for Continued Action to Protect Women's Health Following Dangerous Supreme Court Decision” is the heading you will find on Sen. Barbara Mikulski’s website.

    July 21, 2014

  • Tell legislators to do what is right for America’s vets

    Without our veterans and those who made the ultimate sacrifice, where would America be today? It is anyone’s guess, however certainly not the Freedom and Liberty we enjoy.

    July 18, 2014

  • Opposition and inclusion understood

    Those of you who have been here before know how I feel about the late great Len Bias, who I will remember foremost as Leonard Bias, the polite, spindly Bambi-eyed kid from Hyattsville’s Northwestern High School, who could throw a dunk through the floor, yet had the most beautiful jump shot I have ever seen.

    July 17, 2014

  • Move over Move over

    Have you noticed, in your travels, that the front end of a police cruiser usually protrudes a bit more than you would expect when the officer has it parked behind another vehicle on the side of the road?

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Use local workers in building new Baltimore Pike travel stop

    As a delegate to the Maryland General Assembly representing Allegany County, and specifically the City of Cumberland, I welcome you to our community as you prepare to construct a Love’s Travel Stop at the above referenced location (on Baltimore Pike).

    July 17, 2014

  • Northern Garrett Rescue Squad raising funds, seeks members

    The Northern Garrett County Rescue Squad recently conducted several fund raising events to raise funds for new Lifepak 15’s, which are EKG monitors with AED / defibrillator.

    July 16, 2014