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Talking Points: Getting U.S. Credit Cards More Secure

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(credit: CBS) Esme Murphy
Esme Murphy, a reporter and Sunday morning anchor for WCCO-TV, h...
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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — New developments have been revealed about the Target data breach.

The cyber intelligence company, Intelcrawler, says a 17-year-old from Russia, may be the author of the malware that is being blamed for the compromising of more than 100 million credit card accounts used at Target.

And a New York Times investigation says Target was especially vulnerable to the attack because it had minimal cyber safeguards in place.

The Target breach is also creating a push for U.S. companies to adopt the more secure EMV credit card system widely used in Europe and the rest of the world.

As more information comes out about the Target data breach it seems clear that there is no way to 100 percent guarantee against large-scale cyber crimes. But the Target breach has created a public debate on why U.S. credit card companies do not use smart chip or EMV technology.

EMV cards are widely used throughout the rest of the world, and while they won’t protect against all bogus transactions, they make it much harder to produce counterfeit cards.

Sen. Al Franken chairs the Senate subcommittee on Technology, Privacy and the Law. He has written to the CEOs of all major credit cards companies for updates on what the status of their transition to EMV technology is.

Sen. Franken appeared on WCCO Sunday Morning.

“I know we are going to have a hearing in the judiciary committee. The industry is supposed to be getting on board with this by 2015, there are going to be certain liabilities if you don’t have this technology in but my questions are why can’t we do this faster,” he said.

Franken has asked for answers from the credit card companies by Feb. 5. The major hold up for American credit card companies has been money. An individual EMV card costs five times as much to make as a standard card — and the estimated cost of shifting the entire U.S. system to EMV technology is $5 billion to $7 billion.

You can watch WCCO Sunday Morning with Matt Brickman and Esme Murphy every Sunday at 6 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.

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