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Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel apologizes for losing your credit card info

Dried sheets of cellulose wood pulp pressed with ink.
Dried sheets of cellulose wood pulp pressed with ink.

UPDATE: In May 2014, Gregg Steinhafel resigned after his controversial six-year stint as CEO of Target. While some thought he was overpaid back in 2011, the real kicker came in March 2015 when it was announced that thousands of Target corporate employees would be laid off while he got a $61 million golden parachute.

The only obvious winner to come out of the Target data breach: newspapers.

This week, Target is running full-page advertisements in major dailies across the country, apologizing for a massive theft of credit card information of an estimated 40 million shoppers.

SEE ALSO: Massive Target data breach affects in-store shoppers who used credit cards

Chairman, President and CEO Gregg Steinhafel wrote:

Our top priority is taking care of you and helping you feel confident about shopping at Target, and it is our responsibility to protect your information when you shop with us. We didn't live up to that responsibility, and I am truly sorry.

The ad appeared in the Wall Street Journal , Washington Post , USA Today and New York Times . It also ran Monday and Tuesday in local papers in the top 50 markets, including the Strib and PiPress.

Steinhafel reminded customers that they'll have zero liability for any fraudulent charges arising from the breach and that they can take advantage of one-year free-credit monitoring program.

Otherwise, the ad provides no new information about the crime. The information already released is fuzzy. Steinhafel notes only that the electronic access point used by the thieves has been closed and the malware removed.

Molly Snyder, a company spokeswoman, declined to shed any more light on the breach, citing an ongoing investigation into a "highly sophisticated crime."

Tech blogger Brian Krebs has cited Rescator.la as one of the main black market sites selling card information pilfered from Target customers for as much as $100 a piece. Krebs reported that the breach involved nearly all of the company's 1,797 stores in the United States.

Read the full apology-ad on the next page. If your name is Gregg Steinhafel, please send check to the City Pages sales department, 401 N. 3rd St. Suite 550, Minneapolis, MN 55401, at your earliest convenience.

-- Follow Jesse Marx on Twitter @marxjesse or send tips to jmarx@citypages.com

 

Dear Target Guests,

As you have probably heard, Target learned in mid-December that criminals forced their way into our systems, gaining access to guest credit and debit card information. As a part of the ongoing forensic investigation, it was determined last week that certain guest information, including names, mailing addresses, phone numbers or email addresses, was also taken.

Our top priority is taking care of you and helping you feel confident about shopping at Target, and it is our responsibility to protect your information when you shop with us.

We didn't live up to that responsibility, and I am truly sorry.

Please know we moved as swiftly as we could to address the problem once it became known, and that we are actively taking steps to respond to your concerns and guard against something like this happening again. Specifically, we have:

1. Closed the access point that the criminals used and removed the malware they left behind.
2. Hired a team of data security experts to investigate how this happened. That effort is ongoing and we are working closely with law enforcement.
3. Communicated that our guests will have zero liability for any fraudulent charges arising from the breach.
4. Offered one year of free credit monitoring and identity theft protection to all Target guests so you can have peace of mind.

In the days ahead, Target will announce a coalition to help educate the public on the dangers of consumer scams. We will also accelerate the conversation-among customers, retailers, the financial community, regulators and others-on adopting newer, more secure technologies that protect consumers.

I know this breach has had a real impact on you, creating a great deal of confusion and frustration. I share those feelings. You expect more from us and deserve better.

We want to earn back your trust and confidence and ensure that we deliver the Target experience you know and love.

We are determined to make things right, and we will.

Sincerely,

Gregg Steinhafel, chairman, president and chief executive officer, Target


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