Home Depot is investigating whether its customers’ credit cards were compromised, cyber-journalist Brian Krebs reported Tuesday on his website Krebs On Security. The retailer Wednesday morning posted a note to its customers about the issue.
The hackers allegedly responsible for such a breach may be the same ones from Russia who stole data from Target and other retailers in a holiday-time theft last year, according to Krebs. He reported that a batch of data mined from consumer credit cards went on sale recently and have been dubbed “American Sanctions,” which he speculates is at least in part retaliation for the stance the United States has taken against Russia over troubles in Ukraine.
Banks contacted by Krebs told him that the theft looks like it may have begun in April or May this year, that it may have occurred at most U.S. Home Depot stores, and that the breach could dwarf last year’s Target debacle, which was also first reported by Krebs.
Home Depot recently reported healthy Q2 earnings and a bright outlook for the year, but this news, if confirmed, could put a damper on things. Indeed, Wall Street frowned Tuesday at the initial breach news; Target's experience has shown how expensive such a theft can be. But this is also bad news for other retailers, too, because hackers have proven to be indiscriminate thieves. Retailers and banks must beef up security measures to keep pace with hackers in order for consumers to trust payment systems at stores.