Washington (CNN) – House lawmakers are stepping up their look into how Target handled last fall's massive data breach, with a top Republican requesting that the company turn over a pile of internal documents about the security problem.
House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, sent a letter to Target president Gregg Steinhafel Monday requesting all "documents and communications" from last fall that relate to suspicions of a data breach or decisions about how to notify customers.
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The data breach ultimately affected up to 110 million Americans who shopped at the retail store, with hackers vacuuming up customer names, contact information and, in some cases, credit and debt card information. Independent security researchers believe the malware used in the attack was originally written in Russia or Ukraine, though they are unclear as to who deployed it in this case.
The House committee is trying to pin down the timeline of when Target first suspected a possible security issue and when it decided to let its customers know. According to the committee, the Department of Justice notified Target of suspicious activity on December 12 and the company made a public announcement a week later on December 19.
Issa's letter emphasizes both small- and big-picture questions about that timeline. On the micro side: did Target suspect a problem before December 12? On the macro side: does the country need new laws to force faster disclosure of data robberies like this?
"The committee is specifically concerned the current data breach requirements may fail to provide consumers with timely warning and sufficient notice that their private information may be at risk," Issa wrote.
That statement places this letter in the middle of what could be a nascent bipartisan sentiment on the issue. Also Monday, U.S. Attorney Eric Holder released a video asking Congress to pass a law forcing companies to alert customers more quickly to possible data breaches.
Issa gave Target a March 10 deadline to respond to his document request.
Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told CNN on Tuesday, "We appreciate the chairman's interest," Target spokeswoman Molly Snyder told CNN. "We are in contact with his office and we look forward to working with him and other members of Congress."