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05:23 PM
Jonathan Camhi
Jonathan Camhi
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Breaking Down the Impact of the Target Breach

The payments, banking and retail industries are still experiencing the fallout of the major data breach that hit Target last year. We take a look at the numbers behind the breach’s repercussions for banks, hackers and consumers.

110 Million - A total of up to 110 million customers could have been affected by the data breach at Target. The company confirmed that 40 million debit and credit cards had been stolen, and up to 70 million individuals had some personal information stolen as a result of the hack .

4 Days - The number of days it took for Target to publicly acknowledge the breach had taken place. Target’s CEO Gregg Steinhafel was first informed of the breach on Dec. 15 of last year, according to CNBC. Target first disclosed the attack on Dec. 19.

17.2 Million - U.S. banks and credit unions have reissued 17.2 million debit and credit cards as a result of the breach, at an estimated cost of $172 million, according to the Consumer Bankers’ Association.

$30 Million - Credit Unions have so far shouldered $30 million in costs as a result of the breach, according to the National Association of Federal Credit Unions. The association has estimated the the average cost among its member credit unions at $45,000.

4.8-7.2 Million - One recent analysis indicated that anywhere from 4.8 million to 7.2 million out of the 40 million cards stolen in the breach could experience fraudulent activity.

30% - More than 600 data breaches were reported last year to the Identity Theft Resource Center, with a 30% increase from 2012 in breaches that exposed card data. But the banking sector was not among the most common victims of those breaches. The vast majority of the breaches were in the healthcare (43%) and retail (34%) sectors.

$13 Billion - Banks stopped more than $13 billion in fraud attempts in 2013, according to the American Bankers Association.

$3.94 Billion - As cyber crime continues to grow, so will the market for fraud prevention. MarketsandMarkets estimates that spending on fraud prevention globally will increase $3.94 billion over the next few years, from $3.61 billion last year to $7.55 billion by 2018.

$1,000 - To demonstrate how cheaply malware can be bought by fraudsters, look no further than the case of Aleksandr Panin, who was recently convicted of developing the SpyEye malware. Prosecutors said that Panin sold his malware online for as low as $1,000, and that at least 150 hackers bought SpyEye between 2009 and 2011. One of those hackers reportedly stole more than $3.2 million in six months with the virus. Overall the malware infected more 1.4 million computers worldwide.

$15-20 - The going rate for stolen credit card information is $15-20, but those prices could drop as a result of all of the stolen card information that will hit the market as a result of the Target breach, according to a Carnegie Mellon researcher.

$8 Billion - The cost of moving to EMV has been previously estimated by Javelin Strategy and Research at a total of $8 billion.

The National Retail Federation played some misdirection after the breach, blaming it on magnetic stripe cards while accusing banks of slowing down the migration to EMV. EMV technology would not have prevented many of the malware attack that Target experienced. But EMV has led to major reductions in card fraud in countries that have adopted it. The major obstacle to EMV adoption here in the U.S. remains the very high cost, and just who exactly is going to pay for it.

[For More on the Target Breach: ”Banks and Retailers Face Off Over Target Breach and EMV Adoption”]

The migration would involve $6.75 billion in costs for replacing 15 million point-of-sale devices, $1.4 billion in replacing 609 million credit and 520 billion debit cards, and $500 million for upgrading 360,000 ATM’s across the U.S.


Jonathan Camhi has been an associate editor with Bank Systems & Technology since 2012. He previously worked as a freelance journalist in New York City covering politics, health and immigration, and has a master's degree from the City University of New York's Graduate School ... View Full Bio

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