It wasn’t a hack. No personal payment information was exposed. However, for a little more than two hours last weekend Target stores nationwide experienced a company-wide register outage that basically prevented the big box retailer from accepting customer payments at their checkout lanes. In a brief statement, Target explained that the outage was caused by “an internal technology issue.” Basically, someone hit the wrong button, flipped the wrong switch, plugged in a bad line of code, or something along those lines, which caused the company’s entire brick and mortar checkout system to go haywire.
A day later, and completely unrelated to the internal technology issue, Target saw its card processing system go offline for another hour and a half because of a problem their third-party vendor was having with their own system.
Target operates more than 1,800 retail locations that average a little more than $100k per day in revenue. So take all 1,800 stores offline for two hours on two separate days, and you can start to understand the financial ramifications of something like this.