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Target Credit Card Hackers Used Info Stolen From Vendor

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MIAMI, FL - DECEMBER 19: Carts are seen outside of a arget store on December 19, 2013 in Miami, Florida. Target announced that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts of customers who made purchases by swiping their cards at terminals in its U.S. stores between November 27 and December 15 may have been stolen. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images) | Joe Raedle via Getty Images

Target said Wednesday that investigators have found that hackers stole credentials from a vendor to access the retailer's systems and pilfer about 40 million debit and credit card numbers as well as personal information for another 70 million people.

Spokeswoman Molly Snyder declined to comment on further details, such as the vendor's identity or how the hackers stole the credentials, citing the ongoing nature of the investigation.

Snyder did say that since Minneapolis-based Target Corp. confirmed the breach on Dec. 15, it has taken extra precautions such as limiting or updating access to some platforms.

Last week, some card numbers of Target customers from South Texas turned up in the arrest of a pair of Mexican citizens at the U.S.-Mexico border. But experts believe the attack's original perpetrators will be difficult to locate.

Earlier Wednesday, Attorney General Eric Holder said the Justice Department is committed to tracking down the thieves.

In an appearance before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Holder said that the government also will hunt down any people and groups that exploit the stolen data through credit card fraud.

Target says it is working with the Secret Service and the Justice Department in response to the data breach.

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