Last week Home Depot announced that it was investigating a potential security breach. Reports indicated that the retailer had been hit by the same malware that wreaked havoc over at Target. The Target hack resulted in more than 40 million credit and debit cards being compromised and it is feared that the Home Depot hack has affected far more. Today in a statement posted on its website Home Depot confirmed that systems were breached at its stores in the U.S. and Canada, with potential implications for all customers who have used plastic at these stores from April 2014 forward.
The statement also reads that for now there’s no evidence to support claims that stores in Mexico may have been compromised as well, or customers who shopping online through HomeDepot.com.
It emphasizes that customers will not be responsible for “any fraudulent charges” to their accounts and free identity protection as well as credit monitoring services are being offered to any and all customers who shopped at Home Depot from April onwards. It also apologizes for “frustration and anxiety” caused to customers.
Home Depot has not put a number on customers that might have been infected by this hack, nor it has revealed the kind of information that was accessed or subsequently stolen. It is believed that an updated version of the malware used to attack Target was used, called BlackPOS, which has improved functionality when it comes to stealing data from cards that are swiped at point-of-sale systems.
Seeing as how its a massive retail chain its more than likely that tens of millions of customers have been affected. Those who have used a credit or debit card at Home Depot since April 2014 should keep an eye on their card activity and report any fraudulent charges to their issuing banks immediately to ensure they’re not hit financially.