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Target says PINs stolen, but confident data is secure

Published on Dec 28, 2013 3:26 AM

BOSTON (REUTERS) - Target Corp said PIN data of its customers' bank ATM cards were stolen as part of the massive data breach at the third-largest US retailer, but it was confident that the information was "safe and secure."

The stolen PIN data was "strongly encrypted" when it was removed from Target's systems, spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in a statement on Friday. "We remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure." Ms Snyder declined to say how the criminals accessed the personal identification numbers.

While Target downplayed the significance of the PIN theft, some security experts warned that it exposed customers to a higher level of risk than previously known.

"It means there is potential for gaining access to debit card accounts," said Shane Shook, an executive with the cyber security firm Cylance Inc, who has investigated some of the biggest cyber breaches.

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