TJX Pegs Data Breach Tab at $118M

By Ellen Messmer
Thu, August 16, 2007

Network World — In a filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC), TJX Companies stated its estimated cost for the computer intrusions it disclosed earlier this year has now reached a total of US$118 million.

In an earlier SEC filing, TJX Companies, the clothing retailer with store chains that include T.J. Maxx, had tallied the cost of the network break-ins it disclosed back in January to be about $20 million, though it noted that figure could go higher. On Tuesday, TJX told the SEC the company has more clearly determined "its potential liability from the computer intrusion(s) and recorded an after-tax charge of $118 million."

TJX President and CEO Carol Meyrowitz said in the filing, "We have continued to learn more about the computer intrusion(s) and are now able to estimate the company's liability."

The computer intrusions that TJX references are ones in which 47.5 million credit and debit-card numbers were stolen in 2005 and another 130,000 this year by hackers, who have yet to be caught. Some analysts, including Gartner's Avivah Litan, have said they consider TJX to be the biggest-known victim of data theft due to the sheer volume of compromised customer data.

On the upside, TJX also said in Tuesday's SEC filing that the retailer's net sales for the quarter jumped 9 percent to $4.3 billion.

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