On Friday, Target confirmed that an information breach resulting in theft of customers’ credit card information affected almost twice as many people as previously reported.
In December, a statement from the company claimed that “approximately 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been impacted.” Friday, however, new information surfaced that the names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and e-mail addresses of up to 70 million customers were compromised.
“This theft is not a new breach, but was uncovered as part of the ongoing investigation,” read a company statement on Jan. 10.
“We take this crime seriously. It was a crime against Target, our team members, and most importantly, our guests,” said Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel after learning of the original data breach. Target has taken steps to remedy the situation, offering a free year of credit-monitoring to interested customers.
But the story may not be over yet. “I think they still have no idea how big this is,” David Kennedy, a cyber-security consultant, told told Reuters. “This is going to end up being much larger than 70 million and end up being the largest retail breach in history.”