BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Hackers are targeting millions across the country. Companies nationwide have fallen victim to data breaches. Now the U.S. Attorney General is calling on Congress to take steps to protect consumers.

Meghan McCorkell has more on his call.

The attorney general is calling for a national breach alert that would give a timeline for companies to alert consumers to any security breach.

The information of 70 million Target shoppers was exposed, 77 Neiman Marcus stores were hacked and more than 300,000 University of Maryland students and faculty fell victim to a cyber attack.

Just this weekend, Apple reported a breach that could give hackers access to your email messages or even bank statements.

Now there’s a new push for national security breach alerts.

“Today I’m calling on Congress to create a strong national standard for quickly alerting consumers whose information may be compromised,” said U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Cybersecurity expert Norm Willox says hackers are getting more sophisticated and lawmakers need to protect the public.

“What we really need is a much more synchronized and coordinated approach to raise the level of security awareness and capability for both consumers and for businesses,” Willox said.

The Maryland Personal Information Protection Act does require companies like Target to notify consumers of a data breach, but it doesn’t give a specific timeline.

Any delay is a scare to consumers.

“You never know when somebody’s going to be stealing from you,” said Steve Chaney.

“That’s enough time for someone to go and steal your information. It’s enough time for people to open many accounts under your name,” Adam Burgess said.

Now they want a national timeline.

The National Retail Federation has also called for a federal cybersecurity law.

As for the latest security breach at Apple, the company has released a security patch for iPhones and iPads. The fix is not yet available for Apple computers.

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