Latest TJX Theft Developments

It now appears the TJX data theft was likely an inside job. I didn’t think that was very likely given the duration of the crimes.

This article notes that the theft of data stopped at the same time it was detected by company officials. This was about a month before the public were notified and a period during which company and law enforcement were monitoring to catch the thief in action.

Here’s why I think it could still be an outside job. If the criminal or criminals were able to (1) secure TJX’s keys, (2) install code to steal data, and (3) remove the same code without detection, then it would also be very possible to capture communications data tipping off about the detection. While I don’t think it’s likely for all those cards to fall into place, I’d be even more deeply troubled if it were an inside job.

An undetected inside operation of that duration — now believed to be a year and a half — means TJX had lax in-house audit procedures and, most likely, no outside audits (or grossly incompetent ones). Regardless, the folks at TJX weren’t on the ball in protecting their customers.


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