Dems prod Target on hack

Top House Democrats are calling on Target to release documents about its holiday season data breach.

In a letter on Thursday, leading members of the House Energy and Commerce Committee pressed Target Chairman and CEO Gregg Steinhafel on the causes and impacts of the December hack at the retailer, which affected as many as 110 million people.

“This breach is particularly significant because of its unprecedented scope and scale,” Reps. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.), Diana DeGette (D-Colo.) and Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) wrote. “More than one-fifth of Americans may be affected by the Target breach.”

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The lawmakers are the top Democrats on the Energy and Commerce Committee and its subcommittees on Oversight and Trade.

Millions of Target customers had their financial and personal information stolen in the holiday season data breach. The incident spurred calls for new government action to ensure customers’ data are protected and require that consumers be notified after hacks are detected.

“Questions remain about how exactly this attack was carried out, who was responsible, whether it could have been prevented, how Target responded, and how retailers and customers can protect themselves going forward,” the lawmakers wrote in their letter on Thursday.  

Reports in various media outlets have indicated that the retailer may not have taken warnings about possible cybersecurity risks seriously in the weeks leading up to the data breach.

Officials from Target are scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce and Senate Judiciary Committees about cyberattacks in coming weeks.

The House Democrats said that they needed documents about Target's data security measures and response to the hack in order to prepare for their upcoming hearing, which has not yet been scheduled.