Home Depot investigating massive data breach

Home Depot has confirmed it is investigating some "unusual activity" related to a data breach, making the home improvement retailer the latest potential victim of cyber criminals.

"I can confirm we are looking into some unusual activity and we are working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate," Home Depot spokeswoman Paula Drake told cyber security expert and blogger Brian Krebs. "Protecting our customers' information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers. If we confirm that a breach has occurred, we will make sure customers are notified immediately. Right now, for security reasons, it would be inappropriate for us to speculate further—but we will provide further information as soon as possible."

Krebs first identified Target's data breach in November 2013. That incident compromised the credit card information of 40 million Target shoppers and the personal information of up to 70 million.

While it is not yet clear if Home Depot was compromised or the extent of the breach, Krebs reports that hackers could have first accessed the retailer's system as early as late April or early May, and that it could include information from all Home Depot's roughly 2,200 stores in the United States.  

If true, this data breach could be more extensive than that at Target. Today, the security breach has cost Target $148 million to date and contributed to the firing of CEO Gregg Steinhafel.

For more:
-See this Krebs on Security story

Related stories:
Backoff malware widespread, PCI Council issues call to action
How to prevent Target-like data breaches
Shoppers stop buying online after breaches
Supervalu reports data breach
Target and PF Chang's breaches 'the tip of the iceberg'

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