“We are not gonna rest until we understand what happened and how that happened.”
That’s what Target CEO Gregg Steinhafel said in an interview on CNBC Monday morning as the big-box retail chain attempts to ease customer worries after news that 70 to 110 million of its customers—far more than the 40 million reported last month—were victims of credit card data theft.
Steinhafel said, “I’m personally very sorry that this whole event even happened,” adding that Target is “going to make significant changes” in light of the huge breach. He said the breach was the result of malware in the store chain’s point-of-sale registers.
“Clearly, we’re accountable and we’re responsible. But we’re gonna come out at the end of this a better company,” he said
Target’s CEO is taking a multi-pronged approach to let customers know it isn’t taking the theft lying down. In addition to appearing on CNBC, he published an open letter to customers Monday morning in which he also apologized. He also laid out the company’s responses to the data theft, including hiring a team of security experts to investigate the matter and offering free credit monitoring to customers.
Beyond that, Target has taken out full-page ads in newspapers with that same message.
Neiman Marcus hacked, too
Over the weekend, retail customers discovered that Target wasn’t the only retailer hit by a data breach over the holidays. Neiman Marcus was also hit, the luxury chain confirmed Saturday. It wasn’t clear how many customers were affected.
“We have begun to contain the intrusion and have taken significant steps to further enhance information security,” company spokeswoman Ginger Reeder told the Associated Press. Neiman Marcus was reportedly notified of the breach in mid-December.
Those might not be the only two. According to Reuters, several other, similar data breaches at smaller retailers simply haven’t come to light yet.
2014 has gotten off to a rough start for brick-and-mortar retail stores, and it looks like the difficulties might not be over yet. The apology train is likely to keep rolling.