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Target confirms encrypted PINs were stolen in recent breach

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Target Corp said that PIN codes used to secure ATM cards were stolen as part of the massive data breach at the third-largest U.S. retailer, though it said it was confident the data was "safe and secure."

The stolen PIN information was "strongly encrypted" when it was removed from Target's systems, spokeswoman Molly Snyder said in an emailed statement on Friday. "We remain confident that PIN numbers are safe and secure," she added.

The attack on Target began on November 27, the day before the Thanksgiving holiday and continued until December 1, making it the second-largest data breach in U.S. retail history.

The largest breach against a U.S. retailer, uncovered in 2007 at TJX Cos Inc, led to the theft of data from more than 90 million credit cards over about 18 months.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle and Dhanya Skariachan; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer and Richard Chang)