Cybersecurity

Hackers May Have Used Pa. Company as Backdoor into Target

Heating and refrigeration company is a contractor doing business with retail chain

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The hackers who stole millions of customers' credit and debit card numbers from Target may have used a Pittsburgh-area heating and refrigeration business as the back door to get in.

If that was, in fact, how they pulled it off — and investigators appear to be looking at that theory — it illustrates just how vulnerable big corporations have become as they expand and connect their computer networks to other companies to increase convenience and productivity.

Fazio Mechanical Services Inc., a contractor that does business with Target, said in a statement Thursday that it was the victim of a "sophisticated cyberattack operation," just as Target was. It said it is cooperating with the Secret Service and Target to figure out what happened.