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Target working through holiday on security breach

MINNEAPOLIS - Not everyone at Target is off on Christmas Day.

The Minneapolis-based company's stores are closed, but officials pledged to work through the holidays to clear up issues from a massive computer security breach.

"We continue to work around the clock, including Christmas, to address the questions and concerns of our guests," Target reported on Christmas Eve.

The company also announced that it will print information on its website ( with the latest information about the data breach, including any official documents Target sends to customers. Some customers have indicated they received communications that appeared to come from Target.

"We are aware of limited incidents of phishing or scam communications," Target's Tuesday announcement said.

Target indicated that it never will ask for a customer's identification number (PIN) or Social Security number. The company's advice was to ignore or delete any communications, such as emails, not from Target.

The company is working with the Secret Service and U.S. Justice Department in an investigation.

"We want to make it clear that neither entity is investigating Target," the company reported. "Rather, we are partnering with both on the ongoing forensic and criminal investigation."

Target General Counsel Timothy Baer spoke with representatives of most state attorneys general Monday to address their concerns about the massive data breach, as consumer lawsuits piled up against the retailer. Two U.S. senators called for a federal probe.

The company faces at least 15 lawsuits seeking class-action status as a result of the cyber attack. The suits were filed by people who claim their information was stolen, and they allege that Target either failed to properly secure the customer data, did not promptly notify customers of the breach or both.

Meanwhile, Democratic U.S. Sens. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Chuck Schumer of New York have asked the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate the breach.

Target's image is taking a hit.

"Right now, some consumers are not sure if they can trust Target with their personal information," said Ted Marzilli, chief executive of YouGov BrandIndex.

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Don Davis
Don Davis has been the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau chief since 2001, covering state government and politics for two dozen newspapers in the state. Don also blogs at Capital Chatter on Areavoices.