A Retailing Call to Action: More Bad News About Hacking

The back story about the recent hacking episode with Target keeps getting worse!! And the implications for ALL retailers is clear: They must be more vigilant in protecting their computer networks; and they must be more responsive when hackers have invaded their systems. This is not just a Target cautionary tale!!!!!!! ūüė¶
If some retailers still do not recognize how big a problem this is, all they need to do is read a story in today’s New York Times by Elizabeth A. Harris, Nicole Perlroth,¬†Nathaniel Popper, and¬†Hilary Stout. This story should be a big¬†wake-up¬†call.
Here are some excerpts from the article:
“For months, Eastern European hackers had been poking around the networks of major American retailers.¬†In early November, the hackers found what they had been looking for ‚ÄĒ a wide path into¬†Target¬†and beyond.¬†The criminals discovered that Target‚Äôs systems were astonishingly open ‚ÄĒ lacking the virtual walls and motion detectors found in secure networks like many banks‚Äô. They moved swiftly into the company‚Äôs computer servers containing Target‚Äôs customer data and to the crown jewel: the in-store systems where consumers swipe their credit and debit cards and enter their PINs.¬†For weeks, the invasion went undetected. Shoppers flooded Target stores, unwittingly sending millions of bits of their data into cyberspace controlled by a band of sophisticated thieves.”
“Target had no clue until the Secret Service¬†alerted the company about two weeks before Christmas. At least one major bank noticed a similar pattern. On Dec. 12, JPMorgan Chase alerted some credit card companies that fraudulent charges were showing up on cards used at Target, people involved in the conversation said.”
“An examination by the New York Times into the enormous data theft shows that Target‚Äôs system was particularly vulnerable to attack. It was remarkably open, experts say, which enabled hackers to wander from system to system, scooping up batches of information.”
To read a lot more about how this hacking incident took place, click the image.
Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images


This entry was posted in Part 2: Ownership, Strategy Mix, Online, Nontraditional, Part 3: Targeting Customers and Gathering Information, Part 5: Managing a Retail Business, Part 6: Merchandise Management and Pricing, Part 7: Communicating with the Customer and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to A Retailing Call to Action: More Bad News About Hacking

  1. Reblogged this on Evans on Marketing and commented:
    As a consumer, be careful and look at all crdit card bills carewfully.

  2. Pingback: A Retailing Call to Action: More Bad News About...

  3. Victor Crain says:

    The NYT article is somewhat at odds with what has been reported about the breech in ComputerWorld and NetworkWorld in the past few days, as well as with my personal experience. The industry publications report that the hacks may have gone on for months before detection, and in fact, the earliest indication of the hack at Neiman Marcus dates from July 2013. In my case, hackers targeted my wife’s debit card, using information that was true in August 2013 but not now — which is why the attempt failed.

    My annoyance is that several other retailers were hacked and have not come forward to acknowledge it. That;s keeping their customers in the dark, when those customers should be taking action.

    My other annoyance is the failure to focus on the banks and their continued use of magnetic strips, which has given way to microchips in most other countries. The credit card issuers in using an obsolete and weak technology bear a huge responsibility for what happened with Target customers.

  4. Pingback: When Will U.S. Credit Card Companies Turn to Smart Chips? | Retailing: From A to Z by Joel Evans

  5. Pingback: It’s Time for Smart Chip Technology on U.S. Credit Cards | Evans on Marketing

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