Customer credit/debit card details stolen


Attackers targeted the major US retailer via a phishing campaign on one of its third-party vendors. The vendor downloaded a file containing a virus which was designed to collect all of the data entered within the system. From here the attackers were able to obtain the vendor's login credentials to the retailer's systems.

With these stolen credentials the attackers gained access to the retailer's system and were able to move about freely within the network unnoticed over a two week period. Whilst there they installed malware to attack the POS system enabling them to enter the system again and again to steal information about the 110 million people who shopped at the retailer in late December 2013.

Target's CEO resigned as a result of the breach and the associated financial costs reportedly exceeded USD$300 million.

In March 2022, U.S. District Court in St. Paul ruled that Target's general liability policy covered some of the data breach losses after nearly a decade of dispute between the company and their insurance company.

Speak to the analyst

Want to discuss this case? We're offering a FREE 20 minute phone consultation to discuss this case and the implications it has for your organisation. Just select the time and date that works for you:


Courtenay Brammar

Experienced global enterprise risk and governance professional. Previously Vice President at Morgan Stanley, Deloitte Risk Advisory practitioner and PRMIA steering committee member in both London and New York.

Additional services

We offer a range of cost-effective, fixed-price training programmes and consultant services derived from the unique insights gained from all our case study data.

If you'd rather we did the heavy lifting in developing a cyber incident response plan or lessons learnt training for your organisation underpined by our unique insight into the challenges faced and strategies implemented by organisations countering today's cyber security threats then please contact us here.


  • Target Corporation

We've done the analysis so you can make the decisions

When purchasing a minimum of 5 Case Studies
$699.99 if buying less than 5.

  • Detailed cause & effect analysis
  • Lessons learnt catalogued
  • Preventive controls extracted
Add to Cart
Heads up! Want to try before you buy? You can download our FREE demo case study here