Computer Crime Research Center


Hacking profitable

Date: February 24, 2007

A computer security breach by a hacker who stole TJX Cos. customer data was broader than initially feared, and started 10 months earlier than first thought, the company said Wednesday.

But the parent of discount retail chains including T.J. Maxx and Marshalls in the United States and Winners and HomeSense in Canada, also reported five per cent sales growth during its fiscal fourth quarter, which ended just 10 days after the breach was disclosed Jan. 17.

Company executives said they saw no evidence of any exodus of customers from TJX’s more than 2,400 stores after the data theft. Industry analysts agreed.

"To the degree that that may possibly have occurred, it certainly hasn’t shown up in the numbers," said Donald Trott of Jefferies &Co.

TJX initially believed the intrusion began in May 2006 and ran into last month. On Wednesday, the company said its ongoing investigation revealed the breach started nearly a year earlier, in July 2005.
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