Another Retailer Hacked! Home Depot Confirms Security Breach
Add Home Depot to the frightening and growing list of major U.S. retailers who have had their computer systems hacked. Home Depot has just released info that its payment systems have experienced a data breach that probably affects millions of customers who used credit and debit cards at its more than 2,000 U.S. and Canadian stores, reports The Guardian.
And it wasn’t just a small breach–this could be one of the biggest in history. The largest U.S. home improvement chain did not reveal how many cards could be affected, but did confirm that its investigation into the breach dates as far back as April.
Just about a week ago a website that highlights cybersecurity reported a possible hack of Home Depot’s data. And it was only then that Home Deport reported that it was investigating the possible breach.
“We apologize for the frustration and anxiety this causes our customers, and I want to thank them for their patience and support as we work through this issue,” Chairman and CEO Frank Blake said in a press release.
Target, luxury retailer Neiman Marcus, grocer Supervalu, restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s and the thrift store operations of Goodwill have also recently experienced major security breaches.
According to Forrester Research analyst John Kindervag said the Home Depot breach could be of the same scope as Target’s in which there was a theft of 40 million debit and credit card numbers and the potential exposure of personal data of up to 70 million shoppers. Target’s breach was the second largest in history.
“From what I’m hearing, people think this will be as big as Target or bigger,” he said in a telephone interview with the Associated Press.
Home Depot said malware was used in the hack and its IT department is working with outside firms, its banking partners, and the U.S. Secret Service to investigate the breach. Customers will not be held responsible for fraudulent charges.
It also announced it now plans to have microchip-enabled checkout terminals at all of its U.S. stores by the end of the year to increase security.
The breach caused a drop of about three percent of its shares since Tuesday, and they fell 42 cents to $90.40 in Monday aftermarket trading.