Target Confirms Encrypted PIN Theft After All

Tech

Target is no longer pseudo-denying that encrypted PINs were stolen in the holiday shopping security breach that resulted in 40 million compromised payment cards.

In a statement, Target has confirmed a Reuters report from Wednesday that said hackers collected the encrypted PINs:

While we previously shared that encrypted data was obtained, this morning through additional forensics work we were able to confirm that strongly encrypted PIN data was removed. We remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure. The PIN information was fully encrypted at the keypad, remained encrypted within our system, and remained encrypted when it was removed from our systems.

Target further explains how the encryption works:

When a guest uses a debit card in our stores and enters a PIN, the PIN is encrypted at the keypad with what is known as Triple DES. Triple DES encryption is a highly secure encryption standard used broadly…

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