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Target says, 'Strongly encrypted pin data' was stolen

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Retail giant Target confirmed Friday that "strongly encrypted pin data" was stolen as part of a recent data breach that affected millions.

Still, the company said the "key" necessary to decrypt data is not within its system and could not have been taken during breach.

(Read more: The naughty list: Stores that were late on delivery)

"We remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure. The PIN information was fully encrypted at the keypad, remained encrypted within our system, and remained encrypted when it was removed from our systems," it said in its statement to the media Friday.

This development comes about a week after the retailer announced that more than 40 million of its shoppers' credit and debit cards may have been compromised during the holiday shopping season.

—CNBC.com with Reuters

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