Accessibility/Mobile Features
Skip Navigation
Skip to Content
Editorial News
Lifestyles
Classified Sites

The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION

The hackers who hit Target may have used Pa. refrigeration business as a back door

Fazio Mechanical Services Inc. in Sharpsburg, Pa. on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. The western Pennsylvania heating and refrigeration contractor issued the statement late Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 saying it was the victim of a

Enlarge Image

Fazio Mechanical Services Inc. in Sharpsburg, Pa. on Friday, Feb. 7, 2014. The western Pennsylvania heating and refrigeration contractor issued the statement late Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014 saying it was the victim of a "sophisticated cyberattack operation." The statement came days after Internet security bloggers identified it as the third-party vendor through which hackers accessed Target's computer systems. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

NEW YORK, N.Y. - The hackers who stole millions of credit and debit card numbers from Target may have used a Pittsburgh-area heating and refrigeration business as the back door to get in.

Fazio Mechanical Services Inc., a contractor that does business with Target, issued a statement Thursday saying it was the victim of a "sophisticated cyberattack operation," just like Target. It said it is co-operating with the Secret Service and Target to figure out what happened.

The statement came days after Internet security bloggers identified the Sharpsburg, Pa., company as the third-party vendor through which hackers penetrated Target's computer systems.

The new details about the Target breach illustrate just how vulnerable big corporations have become as they expand and connect computer networks to offer greater convenience and increase productivity.

"Companies really have to look at the risks associated with that," said Ken Stasiak, CEO of SecureState, a Cleveland-based firm that investigates data breaches. Stasiak added that industry regulations require companies to separate corporate operations such as contracts and billing from the financial information of consumers.

Target has said it believes hackers gained access to its vast computer network through one of its vendors. Once inside, the hackers moved through the network and installed malicious software in the company's checkout system.

Experts believe the thieves gained access during the busy holiday season to about 40 million debit and credit card numbers and the personal information — including names, email addresses, phone numbers and home addresses — of as many as 70 million customers.

Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary confirmed that investigators are looking into the attack at Fazio Mechanical Services, but wouldn't provide details. Molly Snyder, spokeswoman for Minneapolis-based Target, would not comment, citing the investigation.

Federal prosecutors in Pittsburgh referred calls to their counterparts in Minnesota, where Assistant U.S. Attorney Steve Schleicher, acting criminal division chief, would not discuss the investigation.

"Like Target, we are a victim of a sophisticated cyberattack operation," Ross Fazio, the company's president and owner, said in a statement.

Fazio Mechanical Services denied reports on blogs and other outlets that said the company remotely monitored heating, cooling and refrigeration for Target, which has about 1,800 stores nationwide. Ross Fazio said his company has an electronic connection with Target that it uses to submit bills and contract proposals.

In the weeks since Target disclosed the breach, banks, credit unions and other card companies have cancelled and reissued cards, closed accounts and refunded credit card holders for transactions made with the stolen data. Target has said its customers won't be responsible for any losses.

___

AP reporter Joe Mandak reported from Pittsburgh.

  • Rate this Rate This Star Icon
  • This article has not yet been rated.
  • We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high. If you thought it was well written, do the same. If it doesn’t meet your standards, mark it accordingly.

    You can also register and/or login to the site and join the conversation by leaving a comment.

    Rate it yourself by rolling over the stars and clicking when you reach your desired rating. We want you to tell us what you think of our articles. If the story moves you, compels you to act or tells you something you didn’t know, mark it high.

Sort by: Newest to Oldest | Oldest to Newest | Most Popular 0 Commentscomment icon

You can comment on most stories on brandonsun.com. You can also agree or disagree with other comments. All you need to do is register and/or login and you can join the conversation and give your feedback.

There are no comments at the moment. Be the first to post a comment below.

Post Your Commentcomment icon

Comment
  • You have characters left

The Brandon Sun does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. Comments are moderated before publication. By submitting your comment, you agree to our Terms and Conditions. New to commenting? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions.

letters

Make text: Larger | Smaller

Brandon Sun Business Directory
Submit a Random Act of Kindness
Why Not Minot?
Welcome to Winnipeg

Social Media