POSTED: Monday, December 23, 2013 - 6:13pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, December 24, 2013 - 1:52pm
It was a massive breach of security, and one of the largest identity thefts ever.
Some are blaming old technology, but the newer credit cards have their own vulnerabilities.
If you shopped at Target in the first 3 weeks of the shopping season after Thanksgiving, you might be involved.
40-million customers using credit or debit cards at Target had their personal credit data hacked and many are seeing the inevitable hits in their bank accounts.
Target is seeing a hit in sales, down 3-4% since the breach.
In response they offered a 10% discount for two days over the weekend.
But J.P. Morgan Chase is lowering card limits for the Target cards it issues, as a precaution against thieves running up big bills.
Many are blaming the older technology magnetic strips on the backs of cards for the problem. The card reader sends out a radio signal that can be picked up even outside the store.
Or, it could have involved employees.
They point to the so-called RFI or radio frequency chips that are already in some cards in your wallet, as a better defense.
They are like the door key to many buildings that you merely swipe near a receiver.
But they can be read as well by a simple, relatively cheap device that can be hidden in a briefcase or handbag.
In fact, some are selling metal lined wallets to block the transmission from the cards.
The fact is, it’s an arms race between bank card issuers and bad guys.
And this time, the bad guys won.