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Target experiences a breach

More than 40 million customers that used a credit or debit card at Target stores could have their data breached. The retailer announced that data has been compromised between Nov. 29 and Dec. 15.  Target didn't specify how its systems were hacked. But judging by the scope of the breach and the kind of information criminals got, security experts say hackers targeted the retailer's point-of-sale system. That means they either slipped malware into the terminals where customers swipe their credit cards, or they collected customer data while it was on route from Target to its credit card processors.

Authorities and financial institutions were notified as soon as Target was made aware of the breach. It appears that 60 percent of the cards breached were originated with VISA and 40 percent are with Mastercard. Through a news release, Target's CEO says the retailer tried to curb the damage.

"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," CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in a statement. "We regret any inconvenience this may cause."

LEVERAGE Card Services has been working with FIS and CO-OP to assess the impact to credit unions. FIS has already announced that it views this breach as critical risk. If your credit union has a question, contact LEVERAGE VP, Transactional Services Jay Brady at 866.231.0545 ext. 1106.