Home Depot Inc. is the largest home improvement chain store in the world and it was announced that hackers had breached its servers and stole more than 53 million email addresses from it. Authorities said that the cyber criminals also stole the customer data from 56 million credit cards, used to purchase products from the retailer.
Home Depot confirmed the breach two months ago, in September, and said the hackers didn’t get any passwords, credit card numbers or any other important personal information after they stole the email addresses.
Home Depot has estimated that the recent theft cost them approximately $62 million. Home Depot is not the only major retailer which has been hacked into recently. Apparently, the hackers used the user name and password of a third-party vendor to break into the perimeter of Home Depot’s network. The hackers acquired “elevated rights” which allowed them to navigate the Home Depot network and deploy unique malware on the self-checkout systems. This happened in US and Canada, the company said.
Home Depot said that the hackers could not get hold of the devices that allowed them access to the company point-of-sale. Since the cyber attack in September, Home Depot has enhanced the encryption used for payment data in every US stores. The company said that they are currently working on enhancing the Canadian stores as well and it will all be completed by the part of 2015.
David Campbell, chief security of a cloud-based email service, said that the proper solution Home Depot should have implemented was to add chip and PIN or an EMV technology to all the US credit cards, in order to avoid any future online threats. But Home Depot replied saying that the company already had the EMV technology installed.
The company said that they don’t have an estimation of the losses related to the recent cyber attack.
Home Depot stated that:
“Those costs may have a material adverse effect on The Home Depot’s financial results in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 and/or future periods.”
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