NEW YORK, April 4 More U.S. companies,
including Target Corp (TGT.N) and Marriott International
MAR.N, came forward on Monday to tell their customers that
their names and email addresses had been exposed in a massive
online data breach.
Last week, a computer hacker penetrated the online marketer
Epsilon, which controls the customer email databases for a
broad swath of companies, from Citigroup to Walgreen.
In what could be one of the biggest such breaches in U.S.
history, companies from banks and retailers to student-testing
organizations have warned customers that some of their
electronic information had been compromised. [ID:nN03201363]
The disclosures continued on Monday, as Epsilon indicated
that the breach had hit about 50 companies in all. Discount
retailer Target and hotel chains Marriott and Blackstone Group
LP's (BX.N) Hilton Hotels informed their customers that their
names or email addresses had been part of the data breach.
Epsilon, an online marketing unit of Alliance Data Systems
Corp (ADS.N), sends more than 40 billion email ads and offers
annually, usually to people who register for a company's
website or who give their email addresses while shopping.
Security experts said the massive data breach should only
put customers at risk if they respond to camouflaged emails
seeking their credit card and other financial information.
The discount retailer sent an email to customers on Monday
evening, telling them that their email addresses may have been
compromised but "no personally identifiable information, such
as names and credit card information, was involved."
The company said in an emailed statement on Monday night
that "email addresses used for promotions and marketing were
The hotel operator responded to the Epsilon data breach on
its website on Monday, saying that "the unauthorized person(s)
had access to names and email addresses only. They did not have
access to sensitive customer information, such as physical
addresses, point balances, account logins and passwords, credit
card information or other personal data."
The hotel operator told customers on Monday that their
names and email addresses were part of the breach.
"The files accessed did not include any customer financial
information. ... The most likely impact, if any, would be
receipt of unwanted e-mails," Hilton told customers in an
The company did not respond to requests for comment.
US BANCORP (USB.N)
The Minneapolis bank confirmed on Monday that some of its
customers' email addresses had been exposed in the Epsilon
"No financial information is shared with Epsilon,"
spokeswoman Teri Charest wrote in an emailed statement.
The companies who said since Friday that their customers'
names or email addresses were exposed in the Epsilon data
JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), the second-largest U.S. bank
Citigroup Inc (C.N), the third-largest U.S. bank
Capital One Financial Corp (COF.N), a bank and credit card
Kroger Co (KR.N), the biggest U.S. supermarket operator
Walgreen Co WAG.N, the largest U.S. drugstore
Best Buy Co (BBY.N), the largest U.S. consumer electronics
TiVo Inc (TIVO.O), a maker of digital video recorders
HSN Inc (HSNI.O), a teleshopping company
The College Board, which administers the SAT admissions
tests and represents some 5,900 colleges, universities and
(Reporting by Maria Aspan and Martinne Geller)