Home Depot Suspect of Massive Card Breach

Update: 11:00 a.m. ET: On November 6, The Home Depot announced in an email to customers that 53 million customer email addresses were also exposed during their September data breach. The hacker gained access to a file of email addresses by logging in as one of their third party vendors. The Home Depot is now urging customers to stay on high alert for phishing emails. Read more on this story and find out how to protect yourself from phishing scams.

Update: 9:30 a.m. ET: On September 8, The Home Depot confirmed all of its U.S. and Canadian stores were impacted by a data breach. In a press release, The Home Depot attributes the breach to malware that compromised their payment card system—exposing credit and debit card information. Read more here.

What happened?HomeDepotBreach

On Tuesday, The Home Depot confirmed it’s investigating a possible data breach after multiple banks suspected fraudulent activity on their customers’ bank accounts. Stolen credit and debit card information later appeared on black market forums.

The breach is estimated to have begun in late April or early May 2014. If correct, this breach has the potential to be three times larger than Target.

It appears hackers may be taking a sophisticated approach by accompanying the payment card numbers with ZIP code data — allowing thieves to use the combination to purchase gift cards and high-priced merchandise while delaying banks from picking up on suspicious activity due to the close proximity to legitimate transactions.

What should you do?

1.)   Monitor your bank statement — particularly if you’ve recently used your credit or debit card at Home Depot. Because ZIP codes may have been used, it may be hard to distinguish real versus fraudulent payments.

2.)   Contact your bank to set up email or text alerts for your credit or debit cards.

3.)   Watch out for phising emails that may prompt you for your personal or financial information, or that appear to be from Home Depot.

4.)   View the list of ZIP codes representing potentially impacted store areas.

5.)   Have an online account with Home Depot? Change your password immediately.

6.)   Check your credit report.

Learn more about data breaches and how to protect your personal information in our Education Center.


The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

John is General Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. He is a Certified Compliance...
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