Target data breach timeline

  • Updated: March 26, 2014 - 8:52 PM

SUMMER 2013

Target installs $1.6 million malware detection tool from FireEye Inc.

September

• Target is certified compliant with payment card industry security standards.

• Attackers steal network credentials of one of Target’s contractors, which are later used to gain access to Target’s network.

November

Nov. 12: First breach of Target’s network; thieves gain access to information on millions of debit and ­credit cards of Target customers.

Nov. 15-28

• Attackers fully install point-of-sale malware in Target’s network.

• Symantec software identifies malicious activity in Target’s network.

• Attackers install malware to allow them to export their stolen data.

• Target’s FireEye malware detection software sends out alerts.

December

Dec. 2: Attackers install updated malware that can export stolen data.

Dec. 2: Target’s FireEye malware detection software again sends out alerts.

Dec. 12: Target is alerted by the U.S. Justice Department of suspicious activity involving payment cards in its system.

Dec. 13: Target meets with the Justice Department and Secret Service.

Dec. 14: Target hires an independent team of experts to lead a forensic investigation.

Dec. 15: Target confirms breach and removes malware from most registers in U.S. stores.

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