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Everything about Web and Network Monitoring

Home Depot Investigating Possible Massive Hack

Home Depot may be the latest company to fall prey to hackers in a potentially massive theft of customers credit card and debit data (the theft is believed to have begun back in May of this year). If the ongoing investigation proves out to be true, then Home Depot joins the ranks of other retailers, such as: Target, Albertsons, Michaels, P.F. Changs  and Neiman Marcus, who have suffered at the hands of these cyber criminals. It was reported on Tuesday by Brian Krebs on his company’s website,  that … “Multiple banks say they are seeing evidence that Home Depot stores may be the source of a massive new batch of stolen credit and debit cards that went on sale this morning in the cybercrime underground. Home Depot says that it is working with banks and law enforcement agencies to investigate reports of suspicious activity.” 


home depot


It appears that this theft was uncovered by two clear indicators; the first being a large volume of “unusual” activity and the second was the notification on Tuesday that an underground store was offering to sell 2 batches of credit and debit cards… named “American Sanctions” and “European Sanctions”. Krebs website went on to state, “There are signs that the perpetrators of this apparent breach may be the same group of Russian and Ukrainian hackers responsible for the data breaches at TargetSally Beauty and P.F. Chang’s, among others. The banks contacted by this reporter all purchased their customers’ cards from the same underground store – rescator[dot]cc — which on Sept. 2 moved two massive new batches of stolen cards onto the market.”


Home Depot spokesperson Paula Drake confirmed that the company is investigating and released the following statement, “I can confirm we are looking into some unusual activity and we are working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate,” Drake said, reading from a prepared statement. “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.”




The damage done by these kinds of cyber thefts is huge. The latest numbers being tracked respective to the Target hack indicate a total financial hit of almost a quarter of a billion dollars. Target is just one of, according to the Department of Homeland Security, over 1,000 businesses that have been infected with the malicious software called “Backoff.”  This specific maleware was first discovered back in October of 2013 and was only recognizable by antivirus programs last month. 


It is estimated that the financial damage from these kinds of attacks, and the much smaller ones, has a global economic impact in excess of 500 billion dollars per year. It seems that as fast as technology seems to close the holes in one piece of software these cyber thugs find a new one. Hopefully someday soon the financial industry will implement strong processes, harder security measures and employ point of sale terminals that encrypt the transaction immediately.

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Ralph Eck

About Ralph Eck

Ralph is an international businessman with a wealth of experience in developing; telecommunications, data transmission, CATV and internet companies. His experience and expertise positions him uniquely in being able to; analyze, evaluate and critique technology and how it fits into a business’ operational needs while supporting its’ success.