NEWS

Home Depot confirms data system breach

Matt Algarin

The Home Depot has confirmed that its payment data system was breached by hackers.

“We apologize for the frustration and the 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. “We owe it to our customers to alert them that we now have enough evidence to confirm that a breach has indeed occurred. It’s important to emphasize that no customers will be responsible for fraudulent charges to their accounts.”

The company says the breach could impact customers using payment cards at its U.S. and Canadian stores, but says that there is no evidence its stores in Mexico and customers that shopped online at homedepot.com were part of the breach.

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The home improvement retailer joins the likes of Target, Albertson’s, Michaels, Neiman Marcus, P.F. Chang’s, and SuperValu as retailers and restaurants that have fallen victim to cyber hacks as of late.

The release says that the company is still determining the “full scope, scale and impact of the breach,” and reports that no debit card PINs were compromised.

Home Depot’s investigation will focus on April and forward, the release says, and the company is taking aggressive steps to address the malware and protect customer data. The company is offering free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to any customer who used a payment cart at a Home Depot store from April on. Customers can learn more at www.homedepot.com or by calling 1-800-466-3337.

Reports of a potential breach began to surface last week. At that point, company spokeswoman Paula Drake told The Log Home Depot had partnered with IT firms, including Symantec and FishNet Security.

The Home Depot will “roll out” an EMV “Chip and PIN” program to all of its U.S. stores by the end of the year. Home Depot customers are urged to closely monitor their accounts.