TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: TJX Releases More Details on Massive Data Breach

TJX Releases More Details on Massive Data Breach

Monty Solomon (
Fri, 30 Mar 2007 00:05:45 -0400

TJX releases more details on massive data breach
By Greg Turner/Daily News staff
Thursday, March 29, 2007 - Updated: 08:52 AM EDT

FRAMINGHAM - Hackers stole at least 45.7 million customer payment card
numbers from The TJX Cos. Inc.'s computer systems over a two-year
period, the retail giant revealed in a regulatory filing.

The company halted the massive data theft on Dec. 18 when it "learned
of suspicious software on our computer systems," TJX said in its
annual report filed late Wednesday with the U.S. Securities and
Exchange Commission.

The filing made public for the first time new details about the data
theft. TJX first announced the computer intrusion on Jan. 17 and
provided an update on its investigation on Feb. 18.

TJX also reported the theft of personal information -- including names
and addresses -- of about 451,000 individuals from merchandise return
transactions made primarily from the last four months of 2003 and May
and June of 2004. TJX said it is notifying these people directly by

TJX said that about three-quarters of the payment cards had either
expired at the time of the theft, or data from their magnetic strips
had been masked -- stored as asterisks rather than numbers.

But TJX acknowledged it still knows little about the full scope of the
breach, in part because the hacker or hackers accessed TJX's
encryption software and could have known how to unscramble the

In addition, TJX deleted much of the transaction data in the normal
course of business between the time of the breach and the time that
TJX detected it, making it impossible to know how many total cards
were affected.

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