TJX Breach More Than Twice As Bad As Reported

New court documents say as many as 96 million consumers may have been compromised in the data breach.

Despite TJX having reported some 46 million consumers impacted by the massive data breach into its computer systems, new documents indicate that as many as 96 million consumers may have been affected, including about 29 million MasterCard victims and 65 million Visa victims, according to documents filed with the federal court in Boston Oct. 23.

The new numbers came to light in filing from attorneys representing some of the banks now suing TJX.

"Beginning in July 2005, TJX experienced a massive intrusion into its computer systems, resulting in the largest data security breach in history and the compromise of an unprecedented amount of confidential nonpublic consumer personal data," said the plaintiff filing. "Although TJX suggests that the breach only affected approximately 45.7 million accounts, in fact the breach during a period of 17 months affected more than 94 million separate accounts. To date, Visa has calculated the fraud losses experienced by issuers as a result of the breach to be between $68 million and $83 million on Visa accounts alone."

Plaintiffs based their new numbers on depositions from Visa and MasterCard that had been confidential until Oct. 23.

But the testimony of Visas Joseph Majka describes some 96 million impacted account numbers, with fraud occurring in 13 different countries.

In dozens of documents filed by both sides in the TJX breach lawsuit involving various banks, little new was learned about the breach beyond the much greater number of impacted consumers.

Most of the documents involved whether the plaintiffs were similar enough to be a class for class-action purposes and whether the banks acted appropriately when some quickly canceled and reissued credit cards.

Retail Center Editor Evan Schuman can be reached at [email protected].


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