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New data breach at Target reported

MINNEAPOLIS - A second-and-larger security breach has hit the Target Corporation.  The Minneapolis-based department store chain said today that up to 70-million customers had personal information stolen from company computers -- things like names, home addresses, e-mail addresses, and phone numbers.  

The breach was in addition to one reported just over a week before Christmas, when 40-million Target customers had data from credit-and-debit cards stolen.  The company said a number of the same customers were most likely affected by both breaches.  Target has about 40 Wisconsin stores among its 1,800 in the U.S.  The company said the latest breach was not new, but it was uncovered as part of its ongoing investigation of the matter -- a probe that also involves the federal government.  

Target's CEO said he knows it's frustrating that customers must endure the data theft.  Target says it will send information to customers with e-mail addresses on file with the firm.  They'll provide tips on avoiding identity theft and consumer scams.  Media reports said Target would also provide a year's worth of free credit monitoring to its shoppers.  More information on that is expected next week.  Also today, Target said the initial breach hurt its sales during the holiday season.