Support The Moscow Times!

Russian Hackers Suspected of Mass Target Data Breach

Russian hackers may have preyed on customers of U.S. retailer Target Davide Restivo

Russian hackers may have been involved in a recent attack that compromised millions of credit- and debit-card accounts and personal data for customers of leading U.S. discount retailer Target, a news report said.

According to a report prepared by federal and private investigators, parts of the malicious computer code used against Target's card readers during the holiday season were written in Russian, unidentified people familiar with the report said, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday.

The newspaper did not specify what parts of computer code the investigators might have been referring to.

While computer code is written in programming languages, it frequently includes functions and variables that the authors of the code can name in any way they like. For instance, a Russian word may be used as the name of a specific function.

Former U.S. officials said the attack may have ties to organized crime in the former Soviet Union.

The security breach stoked concerns that millions of Target customers could become vulnerable to identity theft.

Target, the second-largest discount store in the U.S., said the personal data of 70 million customers — including their names, phone numbers, email and mailing addresses — may have fallen into hackers' hands.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more