Alaska banks scramble Target security breach

ANCHORAGE — Financial institutions in Alaska are scrambling to reissue debit and credit cards to thousands of customers affected by a massive data breach that hit retailer Target.

On Dec. 19, Target confirmed that data connected to about 40 million debit and credit card accounts nationwide was stolen. Last week, the retailer said the stolen data included pin numbers for debit cards.

Three Target stores operate in Alaska, two in Anchorage and one in Wasilla. No statewide numbers of affected cardholders are available, but the Anchorage Daily News contacted individual financial institutions for information.

Denali Alaskan Federal Credit Union said more than 2,200 debit and credit cards it issued were affected by the breach. About 2,000 cardholders were affected at First National Bank Alaska, and almost 1,100 customers of Alaska-based Northrim Bank were affected.

Denali Alaskan spokeswoman Eileen Thompson said cases of fraud have been confirmed. At First National Bank Alaska, no fraud had been confirmed. Northrim Bank spokesman Jay Blury declined to comment.

About 11,000 of more than 20,000 Alaska USA Federal Credit Union cardholders are Alaskan, according to credit union spokesman Dan McCue. Alaska USA customers are not liable for fraudulent charges, McCue said.

After the breach, Anchorage resident Kristin Worman received a letter and email from Alaska USA saying her debit card had been compromised after she shopped at Target. Worman said she hadn’t seen any unusual activity on her account.

“I think the bigger issue that I have with it is the loss in confidence that it gives me,” she said in an email.

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