THE AMERICAN RETAIL CHAIN Target has revisited the number of people affected in a Christmas holidays hacking attack on its servers and more than doubled its estimate of the number of victims.
Initially the firm said that 40 million customers were affected and scurried into a "we are protecting your credit" mode.
"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," said Target chairman, CEO and president Gregg Steinhafel.
"We take this matter very seriously and are working with law enforcement to bring those responsible to justice."
Target said that these figures were estimates, and now it has released a statement in which it admits that previously it understated the scale of the attack.
While previously Target estimated that the number of victims totted up to 40 million, it now says that the number of potential victims is a lot higher.
While that 40 million number applied to actual purchasers the firm says that 70 million 'guests' might also have been affected. It said that this was discovered during forensic investigation, and involved a separate database that included names, mailing addresses, phone numbers and email addresses.
110 million is a large number of people. Target has been apologetic to those people who might be affected, which is more or less the same number of people as the population of Mexico.
"I know that it is frustrating for our guests to learn that this information was taken and we are truly sorry they are having to endure this," said Steinhafel in his latest missive.
"I also want our guests to know that understanding and sharing the facts related to this incident is important to me and the entire Target team."
Target said that it will provide customers with free credit monitoring and that customers will not be expected to cough up for any purchases made with their details that were used fraudulently.
It also reminded its customers to monitor their financial accounts and watch out for fraudulent activity. µ