Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Target warns Canadians of info theft

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TORONTO -- Target is warning its Canadian customers a massive security breach at the retailer over the holiday season may have led to their personal information being stolen.

An email sent to some customers by the retailer on Monday said it believes cross-border shoppers who went to U.S. Target stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 were affected.

Target said its investigation found personal information, such as the names, addresses, emails and phone numbers of some Canadians, may have been stolen.

The breach does not extend to payment data for the debit and credit cards of Canadians, which is what was taken from U.S. customers, it said.

"Target Canada stores were not impacted by the payment card breach," added president and CEO Gregg Steinhafel in the message.

Spokeswoman Lisa Gibson said the email was only sent to Canadian shoppers who Target believes could have had their information stolen.

However, the message also went to at least some Target Canada card holders who weren't in the United States over the affected period.

The security breach is believed to have involved 40 million credit and debit card accounts and the personal information of 70 million customers. Gibson said the number of Canadians affected is estimated to be "well under" one per cent of the total, which represents less than 700,000 customers.

Target has said Canadian stores weren't affected because they use a different payment system at cash registers.

The email to Canadian shoppers said Target has hired a third-party forensics firm to investigate the incident.


-- The Canadian Press, with files from The Associated Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 21, 2014 B6

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