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Security analyst: Target breach could have been prevented

By Luke Jones
Published On: Dec 19 2013 07:39:48 PM CST

Local News 8 spoke exclusively to a Pocatello security analyst who says the company he works for advises Target on security matters.

AMMON, Idaho -

Many East Idahoans woke up this morning to find some unusual activity on their credit cards. They all had one thing in common: they shop at Target.

In a written statement, Target says it's been targeted by hackers who may have access to personal data from 40 million credit and debit cards used at their stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15.

Local News 8 spoke exclusively to a Pocatello-based security analyst who says the company he works for advises Target on a myriad of cyber security issues.

"What they were able to do is compromise a single system within Target's enterprise,” said security analyst Shad Harris. “And once they were able to get a reliable connection to and from Target from outside of their network, they added extra pieces of software whether it be malware or other types of exploits and took advantage of certain flaws from within the network itself."

Harris said hackers may have had access to Target's system months ago.

"An attack like this should be pretty easy to spot,” he said. “These types of servers have a very, very specific code base, which require regulatory standards that they have to meet. It seems as if Target was put in a situation where they were probably not meeting those policies."

We called Target for comment, but as of air time, they had not return our phone call.

If you think you're card has been compromised, Target is asking that you call them at 1-866-852-8680.

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