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Target hackers will be tough to find, specialists say

Credit cards were confiscated Monday in McAllen, Texas. Thieves can easily encode stolen data onto new, blank cards.
Credit cards were confiscated Monday in McAllen, Texas. Thieves can easily encode stolen data onto new, blank cards.Gabe Hernandez/The Monitor via associated Press

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NEW YORK — It doesn’t surprise experts that some debit and credit card numbers stolen from Target’s computer systems may have surfaced among nearly 100 fake credit cards seized by police in Texas this week.

Even so, they say the bust is unlikely to lead authorities directly to the hackers behind the breach, given the vast, labyrinthine nature of the global market for stolen data.

In the aftermath of the breach, millions of Americans have been left to wonder what’s become of their precious personal information. Chester Wisniewski, senior security adviser for the computer security firm Sophos, says in cases where such a massive amount of information is stolen, criminals generally divide the data into chunks and sell the parcels in online black markets.

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