WASHINGTON Jan 21 The U.S. Secret Service said
on Tuesday it was checking for links between the recent hacking
of consumer data from Target Corp and the weekend arrest
of two Mexicans who tried to enter the United States at a Texas
border crossing with a cache of fraudulent credit cards.
But other law enforcement sources said it was not clear
whether there was a link between the Target data breach and the
arrests, which occurred at the U.S. border crossing at McAllen,
Edwin Donovan, a spokesman for the Secret Service in
Washington D.C., confirmed that the agency was looking for any
connection between Target data breach and the two Mexicans.
Target has said a breach of its networks during the busy
holiday shopping period resulted in the theft of about 40
million credit and debit card records and 70 million other
records with customer information such as addresses and
"The U.S. Secret Service continues to work closely with
affected parties and law enforcement to investigate the Target
breach. In regards to the arrest announced yesterday, the Secret
Service is working with the U.S. Attorney's Office and McAllen
Police Department to determine if there is any connection,"
Donovan said in an email.
Three law enforcement sources familiar with the matter said
there were indications that any connection between the Target
breach and the man and woman could turn out to be insignificant
One possible explanation, they said, is that the arrested
pair somehow acquired credit card or other data stolen from
Target over the Internet and had no real knowledge or
involvement, other than as data purchasers, of the people who
originally carried out the hack, who investigators say may be
based in Eastern Europe.
Reports from McAllen quoted Victor Rodriguez, the local
police chief, as saying that Mary Carmen Garcia Vaquera, 27, and
Daniel Guardiola Dominguez, 28, both from Monterrey, Mexico, had
been detained and charged with fraud related to the Target hack.
Rodriguez was quoted by the Wall Street Journal saying that
the pair had used credit card data stolen from Target to
purchase tens of thousands of dollars worth of goods from
Walmart, Best Buy and other stores in South Texas.
The Los Angeles Times quoted another McAllen police
spokesman as saying the two detained individuals had been
carrying 90 fraudulent credit cards and another 22 that were