By Joe Mathieu, WBZ NewsRadio 1030

BOSTON (CBS) – It’s amazing how little we’ve heard about the security breach at Target considering how long ago it happened and how many people it affected.

And in light of another major breach at a retail chain – this time at Michael’s – more attention is being paid to these investigations.

The Secret Service, which handles cases like these, says it’s getting closer to figuring out how the person or people who did this actually managed to steal credit card numbers and personal information from tens of millions of shoppers.

The feds won’t say what that they know.

But Target, which is running its own investigation, believes the thieves cracked its systems by worming into computers owned by one of its vendors – likely a heating and refrigeration business.

Authorities say it’s a game of patience. And chances are they will eventually find who did this. But bringing them to justice could be a very different matter.

It’s because of two factors.

The first is that we’re dealing with a cybercrime. It’s not like finding someone who walked into a bank with a gun. Authorities tell USA Today that it’s much more difficult to find virtual criminals who can cover their tracks very efficiently, whether at Target or Michael’s.

But the greater problem is our border.

Authorities believe this was an international operation. And the person or people who did this may be in a country that does not have an extradition treaty with the U.S., like Russia, where cyber-criminals are not even punished for attacks in other countries.

Follow Joe on Twitter @joemathieuwbz



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