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Target confirms customer PINs were taken in breach, maintains data is safe
From: InfoSec News <alerts () infosecnews org>
Date: Tue, 31 Dec 2013 10:08:22 +0000 (UTC)

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9245053/Target_confirms_customer_PINs_were_taken_in_breach_maintains_data_is_safe

By Chris Kanaracus
IDG News Service
December 27, 2013

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."

When Target customers use their debit cards, the PIN is secured with Triple DES encryption at the checkout keypads, according to the statement. "Target does not have access to nor does it store the encryption key within our system," it adds. "The PIN information is encrypted within Targets systems and can only be decrypted when it is received by our external, independent payment processor. What this means is that the 'key' necessary to decrypt that data has never existed within Targets system and could not have been taken during this incident."

[...]



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