Target credit information breach calls for newer smart chip card technology

On December 19, 2013, retail giant Target revealed that its customer data has been breached. Initial report indicated that hackers may have obtained names, addresses, bank account and other vital information of about 40 million its customers. But as days went by and more and more information became available, many think it may have affected more than 90 million customers. It appears that other retailers including Neiman Marcus may have also been breached. Many state legislators and the U.S. Congress are asking explanations.

The breach is bringing the age old security concerns of cyber data. Many thinks that the magnetic strip technology that the U.S. is using is highly antiquated and call for more secure encryption of data and asking to switch over to smart chip credit cards which are much more secure and reduce counterfeiting. Smart card has a small chip embedded in the card that carry encrypted personal data. The consumer needs to enter a PIN to activate the information. Only about one to five percent of credit cards used in the U.S. today carry the technology. Even though the U.S. is slow to adopt the technology, many other countries use the smart card technology.

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