Target account breach one in long string of consumer-data hacks


The announcement by Target on Thursday that 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been breached by cyber-crooks is just one in a string of notable consumer-data breaches in recent years.

The Minneapolis-based retailer said the unauthorized access — which occurred between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 — may mean that criminals now have shoppers’ names, payment card numbers, expiration dates and three-digit security codes at their disposal.

The breach affects Target patrons who made purchases at U.S. stores, the company said.


Here’s a compilation of past notable consumer-data breaches. Target’s data breach disclosure means it now ranks among the largest cyber consumer data hacks in recent history. Let us know if we missed any:

Oct. 2013: A Vietnam-based identity-theft ring allegedly stole the data of 500,000 Americans, information which was then posted for sale on websites, including and

June 2013: Hackers targeted 15 financial institutions, including JPMorgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and E-Trade, as part of a nearly two-year-long scheme that involved hacking into customer accounts to steal at least $15 million, U.S. authorities said.

March 2013: Grocery store chain Schnucks said 2.4-million customers had their credit card numbers compromised during a four-month breach. The company could be on the hook for millions of dollars.

Oct. 2012: Barnes & Noble said data thieves hacked into payment devices and may have stolen customer credit and debit card information at 63 of its stores nationwide, including 20 in California.

Jan. 2012: was the victim of a cyber attack by a hacker who gained access to customer information on the company’s internal network and systems, Chief Executive Tony Hsieh said in an email to employees. The company said the potentially exposed information included names, email addresses, billing and shipping addresses, phone numbers and the last four digits of credit card numbers.


Oct. 2011: New York officials indicted a group of identity thieves who allegedly stole $13 million from consumers, banks and businesses in a worldwide credit-card fraud operation that involved shopping sprees at local malls.

June 2011: Hackers broke into Citi’s online account website and stole information from about 200,000 Citibank credit card customers in North America.

August 2008: The Bank of New York Mellon said a security breach involving the loss of backup data storage tapes affected about 12 million individuals. The data had information such as names, addresses, dates of birth and Social Security numbers.

August 2008: The FBI arrested a former Countrywide Financial Corp. employee and another man in an alleged scheme to steal and sell sensitive personal information including Social Security numbers of as many as 2 million mortgage applicants.

August 2008: Federal authorities said they had cracked the largest case of identity theft in U.S. history, charging 11 people in the theft of more than 40 million credit and debit card account numbers from computer systems at such major retailers as TJ Maxx and Barnes & Noble.

July 2008: Hackers stole millions of dollars after breaking into Citibank’s network of ATMs inside 7-Eleven stores and stole customers’ PIN codes, according to court filings.