The Target Security Breach - A Big Payout


Target's recent security breach has been labeled the "nightmare before christmas" but from another standpoint, that may not be the case. I would think most shopping has been done by now. Plus, Target spends a lot of money on advertising and PR - this could be played very well - and has  enjoyed a great reputation amongst consumers.

Perhaps the most interesting tidbit about this recent theft is the theft itself. Stolen credit card information sells for around $.25 a unit (on the black market). You can do the math and see how it is very much a numbers game. So much a numbers game that you need hundreds of thousands of names. Credit card companies (the largest is JP Morgan) have massive fraud units that cut the percentages of thieves successfully running transactions on these stolen units by a hefty amount. 

"The chain said customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at terminals in its U.S. stores between Nov. 27 and Dec. 15 may have had their accounts exposed. The stolen data includes customer names, credit and debit card numbers, card expiration dates and the three-digit security codes located on the backs of cards." Link

When I was on Silk Road a while back I noticed an ATM cover unit for sale that could lift debit cards and pin numbers. I was curious about it, and then started thinking about how often crime is perceived to pay, but many times it doesn't even remotely pay (think modern bank robberies).

Of course, white collar crime pays. And on that, let's look to the recent matters of SAC Capital Advisors and how one of Cohen's main men (Michael Steinberg) was found guilty of insider trading and then fainted in court.  
Steinberg’s conviction is also expected to aid the SEC in its attempt to ban Cohen from the industry for life...
While modern technology enables theft in many different ways, it is also detouring theft in more ways then one.