Business briefs [Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA)]
(Telegraph-Herald (Dubuque, IA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Experts: Target hackers tough to find
NEW YORK - The hackers behind the recent Target data breach are likely a world away and nearly impossible to find.
That's the consensus among outside cybercrime experts as Target, the Secret Service and the FBI continue their investigation of the pre-Christmas data heist in which hackers stole about 40 million debit and credit card numbers and also took personal information - including email addresses, phone numbers, names and home addresses - for another 70 million people.
In cases where such a massive amount of information is stolen, experts say criminals generally divide the data into chunks and sell the parcels through online black markets.
Target scales back on health coverage
NEW YORK - Target Corp. says it will no longer be offering health care coverage for its part-time workers.
The discounter is citing new options now available through health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act.
Target, based in Minneapolis, said the majority of its part-time workers who have been eligible for its health care insurance coverage don't enroll. In fact, less than 10 percent of its total employees of 361,000 take advantage of the part-time plan. It said it will stop covering the part-time workers beginning April 1.
Separately, Target said Wednesday that it was laying off 475 employees across the company's operations. It also said that over the past six months it has closed about 700 open positions across the entire chain.
Verizon reports security data orders
WASHINGTON - Verizon Communications Inc. said it received between 1,000 and 1,999 government requests for customer information related to national security last year.
The largest U.S. cellphone carrier made the disclosure Wednesday in its first report on law-enforcement data requests. Verizon and No. 1 U.S. telecom company AT&T Inc. decided late last year to begin making the information public as debate intensified over the National Security Agency's collection of hundreds of millions of Americans'phone records under secret court order.
The NSA program was revealed in June in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.
Verizon plans to update the report twice each year.
Nordic steel companies to merge
STOCKHOLM - The Swedish steel company SSAB AB made an offer Wednesday to buy Finnish company Rautaruukki Oyj for 10.2 billion Swedish kronor ($1.6 billion) to create a combined Nordic producer of high-strength steel.
SSAB said the boards of the two companies have agreed on the merger and the two largest shareholders in SSAB and Rautaruukki support the deal. The offer represents a premium of 20 percent to the average Rautaruukki share price.
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