Home Depot investigates credit card breach

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Home Depot is currently investigating a suspected breach of customer data, potentially making it the latest victim of retail hackings involving customer credit card information.

First reported by journalist and security researcher Brian Krebs, the suspected breach could involve all of Home Depot’s 2,200 stores in the US. The breach also bears some of the hallmarks of the group that compromised Sally Beauty, Target and P.F. Chang’s, noted Krebs.

Home Depot has pledged to notify customers once it identifies a breach.

In a statement, Home Depot spokesperson Paula Drake said: “At this point, I can confirm that we’re looking into some unusual activity and we are working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate.

“Protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers.”

Hundreds of retailers have been compromised by thieves who steal financial data. The most notable case involved the theft of 70 million customers’ data from retail giant Target in 2013. Other attacks involved restaurant P.F. Chang’s, healthcare provider Community Health Systems and retailer Neiman Marcus.

The US Computer Emergency Readiness Team and the US Secret Service warned that more than 1,000 retail firms had been breached by malicious software known as Backoff. The program compromised the computer systems of retailers via the remote-desktop software that is used to administer and maintain the systems.

In Home Depot’s case, the attackers might be motivated by the situation in Ukraine and Russia because the credit card files that Krebs found for sale online were labelled “EU Sanctions” and “American Sanctions” in reference to the economic embargoes imposed against Russia for its aggression on Ukraine.

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