IDG News Service (Boston Bureau) — Target has confirmed that hackers obtained customer debit card PINs (personal identification numbers) in the massive data breach suffered by the retailer during the busy holiday shopping season, but says customers should be safe, as the numbers were encrypted.
Some 40 million customer debit and credit cards were affected by the breach, but until now it wasn't clear that PINs were part of the hackers' massive haul.
"While we previously shared that encrypted data was obtained, this morning through additional forensics work we were able to confirm that strongly encrypted PIN data was removed," Target said in a statement on its website Friday. "We remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure. The PIN information was fully encrypted at the keypad, remained encrypted within our system, and remained encrypted when it was removed from our systems."