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Target CFO to testify before Senate on big data breach

The sign outside the Target store is seen in Arvada, Colorado January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking
The sign outside the Target store is seen in Arvada, Colorado January 10, 2014. REUTERS/Rick Wilking

(Reuters) - Target Corp's chief financial officer will testify before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee on February 4 about a massive data breach in what is likely to be the first time the retailer publicly answers questions about the unprecedented attack.

The committee is chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy, a Vermont Democrat and author of one of the few data security bills under consideration.

John Mulligan, who is executive vice president as well as chief financial officer, oversees Target's financial portfolio, including finance and retail services, company spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in an email confirming his appearance before the panel.

Representatives of the Federal Trade Commission, the Secret Service and the Department of Justice are also slated to testify at the hearing, according to the committee's schedule.

Last week, Democratic lawmakers called for a congressional inquiry into the hacking of credit and debit card data of tens of millions of customers of the No. 3 U.S. retailer during the holiday shopping season.

Target, based in Minneapolis, has said a breach of its networks resulted in the theft of about 40 million credit and debit card records and 70 million other records with customer information.

Privately owned luxury retail chain Neiman Marcus has said it too was victim of a cyber attack, and sources have told Reuters other retail chains have been hacked.

In a post on Neiman's website dated January 22, Chief Executive Officer Karen Katz said data tied to about 1.1 million customer payment cards could have been exposed as part of the breach from July 16 to October 30.

So far, about 2,400 payment cards used at Neiman Marcus' various chains have been used fraudulently, Katz said, citing notification from credit card networks Visa Inc, MasterCard Inc and Discover Financial Services.

(Reporting by Alina Selyukh, Dhanya Skariachan and Phil Wahba; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)

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