U.S. Secret Service Close to Understanding Method Used by Hackers in Target Breach
Sunday, April 20th, 2014 -- 6:19 AM-U.S. Secret Service investigators say they are close to gaining a full understanding of the methods hackers used to breach Target's computer systems last year.
But the agency says it could take years to identify the criminals who stole some 40,000 debit and credit card numbers of Target shoppers and other personal information from as many as 70 million people in the pre-Christmas breach.
And it may take even longer to bring the offenders to justice. The federal investigation is complicated by the international nature of high-profile digital heists. The perpetrators are likely located overseas, which makes extradition and prosecution difficult. As a result, the Secret Service is focused on monitoring the online activities of its suspects, in hopes that they'll be able to arrest them at an opportune moment.
Target says it can't yet estimate what the breach will cost the company, but some analysts put it at close to half a billion dollars. The total cost of the breach ?which also would include losses incurred by banks, consumers and others? could easily reach into the billions of dollars.
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