Target: 40 mil. cards may be affected in security breach - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Target: 40 mil. cards may be affected in security breach

(KLTV) -

The U.S. Secret Service is investigating a security breach that could affect a large number of holiday shoppers at Target stores.

As first reported by computer security expert Brian Krebs, the breach extends to "nearly all Target locations nationwide" and involves data stolen off of the magnetic stripe of cards used in stores.

The data breach is believed to have started around Black Friday 2013 and extended to December 15.

Target says approximately 40 million credit and debit cards could have been impacted in this 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. We regret any inconvenience this may cause," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target. "We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice."

Target's online store seems to be unaffected at this time. 

The data stolen, Krebs said, is known as 'track data' and allows counterfeit cards to be made with the information stolen from the stores.

Target said they are hiring a third-party forensics firm to conduct their own investigation into the incident.

The store said anyone who suspects they may have had their information compromised should contact them at (866) 852-8680.

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