Target was warned that its system might have been compromised, but the company failed to react. Now, it seems that the hacking could be a lot worse than what it was reported in the first place.
Target paid no less than $1.6 million for its malware detection system, which functioned as it should have and warned the company that something might be wrong. However, Target ignored its detection system and failed to stop hackers from stealing credit card numbers, as well as personal information from millions of customers.
Bloomberg first reported that the company’s no less than 110 million customers could have been affected by this security problem. The report was published on Thursday. Bloomberg also reported that Target had a complex malware detection system, created by FireEye and which identified the hack before it had the chance to create real damage.
This first occurred in November. The FireEye system has the option to automatically delete the malware, but it was turned off, which means that it required someone to manually delete it. This is not something very unusual, as most companies what to investigate into such an issue when it occurs to decide if they should act upon it or not.
Target chose to not act and this allowed hackers to access the information they wanted, with absolutely no interruptions. Now, reps for Target claimed that they started an investigation on this case and discovered that additional information was accessed or stolen by the hackers.
“Our investigation of the matter is ongoing and it is possible that we will identify additional information that was accessed or stolen, which could materially worsen the losses and reputational damage we have experienced,” a statement from the company said.
According to the company, the greatest risk it faces at the moment is the potential loss of confidence of its customers. This hack can create a big reputation issue for Target and the negative impact on its sales can even be disastrous, the company said.
Moreover, Target is facing more than 80 lawsuits, being also under a number of government investigations. The famous retailer claimed on Friday that after the public announcement on this leak was made, sales decreased spectacularly. The impact that this will have on the long term on the company remains unknown.