DOJ's Holder says agency is investigating Target data breach

The agency generally doesn't discuss investigations but veered from its protocol

The US Department of Justice is investigating the data breach at Target stores, which compromised as many as 110 million payment cards and personal records in one of the largest such attacks on record.

Attorney General Eric Holder told the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that "we are committed to working to find not only the perpetrators of these sorts of data breaches -- but also any individuals and groups who exploit that data via credit card fraud."

The DOJ veered from its normal protocol in revealing its probe. Holder said the DOJ generally does not discuss matters under investigation but did not say why it made an exception in this case. The U.S. Secret Service is also investigating, and other cyberdefense organizations in the U.S. government are contributing.

Target disclosed earlier this month that its payment networks were infected with malicious software that stole payment card details. Luxury retailer Neiman Marcus reported a similar attack.

Michaels, an arts and crafts chain, said on Saturday it was alerting customers after possible unauthorized charges were discovered from cards used at its stores. The company said it is investigating whether a breach occurred.

The Target data breach has led computer security experts to study the economy around stolen card data. It is suspected that many more retailers may have been compromised, with attackers focusing on point-of-sale devices.

The malware used against Target was a "RAM scraper," which intercepted unencrypted payment card data on the POS device. It is unknown how intruders gained access to Target's network, but it appears they gained wide leverage, taking more than 11GB of data.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags CriminalU.S. Department of JusticeTargetsecuritydata breachlegaldata protectioncybercrime

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeremy Kirk

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?