MISSOULA, Mont. - Target has announced that customers' PIN data was taken during a large data breach earlier this month, though company officials say the data is encrypted. The company believes the numbers are safe because the data can only be decrypted after it's brought in by an independent payment processor.
Data associated with roughly 40 million debit and credit cards were stolen between November 27 and December 15. That data includes customers' card numbers and names.
NBC Montana stopped by a Target branch in Missoula to speak with customers about their reactions.
Hamilton resident Dean Bitterman told NBC Montana he used cash to shop at Target on Friday, and he says he understands any store could be vulnerable to a cyber attack.
"Fortunately cash still works…Everything else still has the same vulnerability. Once it's publicized you know to check your accounts," said Bitterman.
Rachel Cordova said she got a notice that her account may be compromised but was relieved to find out that no money was taken from her accounts.
"Once I got the phone call saying my account was hacked, I immediately checked my balance and everything, made sure everything was still on there, and nothing was touched, so I was very thankful." said Cordova.
Dilek Aydinalp-Mathews told NBC Montana that she wouldn't start just using cash to avoid the risk of cyber attacks, but she did stress the importance of keeping a close eye on accounts.
"This is part of the new normal, and you just need to kind of be diligent about watching your accounts," said Aydinalp-Mathews.
In a press release posted to Target's website, CEO Gregg Steinhafel said the following:
"Target's first priority is preserving the trust of our guests and we have moved swiftly to address this issue, so guests can shop with confidence. We regret any inconvenience this may cause. We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice."
Target is working with a third party forensics team to investigate the incident, and is also working alongside the Department of Justice and the Secret Service.