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Data breach alert: Home Depot

By Jeanine Skowronski ·
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Posted: 4 pm ET

Here we go again.

Home Depot is looking into a potential data breach of consumers' credit and debit card information first reported by security blogger Brian Krebs on Tuesday.


Home Depot may be the next in a line of retail stores to be hacked this year. Copyright: MARIO ANZUONI/Reuters/Corbis

Per Krebs, "multiple banks say they are seeing evidence that Home Depot stores may be the source a massive new batch of stolen credit and debit cards that went on sale this morning in the cybercrime underground."

Krebs similarly broke the news about a potential data breach at Goodwill Industries International in July, a confirmed P.F. Chang's data breach in June and, of course, the massive Target data breach back in December.

"Protecting our customers' information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers," said Paula Drake, a spokeswoman for Home Depot, in a written statement. "If we confirm that a breach has occurred, we will make sure customers are notified immediately."

UPDATE: The company said in a statement it would offer free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to any potentially affected customers, should the breach be confirmed.

Drake said the company would provide additional information on the potential breach "as soon as possible."

This year has, unfortunately, been ridden with reports of data breaches. In addition to the aforementioned compromises, breaches were confirmed at eBay, UPS and Tennessee-based Community Health Systems.

As such, you should  remain vigilant about safeguarding your financial and/or personal information. These steps include routinely changing passwords, setting up alerts and diligently monitoring bank statements for suspicious charges.

If unauthorized charges do appear, notify your issuer immediately to have the card replaced and the charges removed, minimizing the chances of being held liable for them.

If you fear you were affected by a breach, you can also place a fraud alert on your credit report, since mysterious line items are a good sign that identity theft is occurring.

Follow me on Twitter: @JeanineSko.

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Naomi Roth
February 25, 2015 at 7:20 pm

The cashiers should request a legitimate photo I'd that identify the person or have a personal pin on their card. (2) the store should have security cameras all through the store. (3)I think the store should hire armed security guards.

Dot Lee
September 11, 2014 at 2:44 pm

I have just learned what it is like to have a Credit Card Number stolen and used in another state at a Wal-Mart. In the past I have always used credit cards but I am doing away with mine and you should think about doing likewise. I never thought it would happen to me.

M Elizabeth Hiltz
September 08, 2014 at 12:24 pm

Local Hospital information hacked. I was sent a letter to go to Kroll ID Monitoring Service to get identity theft protection. They must have more than 8 pages of Kroll protection listings. Not any information which you should use nor could I get thru on their phone system to ask questions. What good is it to hire a protection system you can't access. What about the poor elderly that don't have a computer at all. I won't go there again, ever!

September 07, 2014 at 11:15 pm

Just so people are aware-the idea of a picture ID won't work cause my sis had just her number of her credit card stolen, and then the hacker put his/her name on the "newly" made credit card with my sis's number on it!
The criminals are sneaky. And to show a picture ID, yeah well the criminal can use the self checkout lanes, and not have to show anything!!

Susan W.
September 04, 2014 at 4:26 pm

I agree with Helen's suggestion; but would like to add that the stores also require a fingerprint with each purchase And; a fingerprint should be on everyone's driver's license too. Sounds like a bit too much? If you are innocent, what is the problem?

September 04, 2014 at 11:31 am

There are regulation around storing credit card information, it is called PCI compliance. More information would need to be known before jumping to conclusions. In the case of Target, the information was gathered before it could even be stored. It is likely that other stores have been made vulnerable by the same kind of attack, and we will find out later.

Dan B
September 04, 2014 at 10:11 am

why are they saving data from credit cards. I thought it was illegal for a business to save or store credit card info. why can they get away with it. oh that's right they are big business they are held to a different standard. I hope these companies and their banks loose billions. Because eventually the consumer won't buy anything from they and they WILL crash and burn.

Helen Kwiatkowski
September 04, 2014 at 9:56 am

Immediate solution: When using a charge card or debit card, purchaser must present a photo ID to cashier....this will curtail unauthorized purchasers from using stolen or borrowed cards. And it will buy retailers more time until they have better ID protection systems installed. Another suggestion: retailers should spend the $$ to install cameras at their if a fraud is detected, the police can download the photo from stores computer to help identify the thief.