Retail giant Target acknowledged the worst possible news at the absolute worst time this week. The company said Thursday a data security breach potentially exposed as many as 40 million credit and debit cards, all during the busy holiday season.
According to a Target statement, the breach took place on the payment systems associated with Target's nearly 1,800 brick-and-mortar stores in the U.S. The thieves had access to the credit card systems between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15. The company said it has resolved the security lapse.
"We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice," said Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and CEO of Target, in a statement Thursday.
Security experts say this data breach could be one of the biggest retail credit card breaches of all-time and demonstrates the need for companies to focus on risk-based security measures.