Although Home Depot has yet to outline the full scope of a security breach that affected its stores in the U.S. and Canada, there are signs this could be huge.
Home Depot on Monday confirmed the hack has been going on for about six months in the U.S. and Canada, although not in Mexico or its online store. It says it has found and removed the hacker’s malware now.
The respected blog Krebs on Security reported that this is a variant of the same malware used to snatch 40 million payment cards from Target.
The New York Times’ security reporter Nicole Perlroth points recently compared the two breaches:
Target:1800 stores. Home Depot: 2,000 stores. Target breach: 3 weeks. Home Depot breach: 5 months. Target sales:$72.5B. Home Depot:$78.8B.
— Nicole Perlroth (@nicoleperlroth) September 8, 2014
In the aftermath of the Home Depot hack, at least one person already noticed fishy credit card charges.
If there is an upside, Home Depot promises you won’t be on the hook for those charges.
Just check your credit card and report anything suspicious, and the company will investigate. You can also enroll in a monitoring service via a request page on the Home Depot website.
Here’s what Home Depot is promising:
The Home Depot is truly sorry for any inconvenience caused by this incident and we are committed to taking steps to protect your payment card information.
If you need identity repair assistance during the next 12 months, starting on September 8, 2014, the team at AllClear ID is ready and standing by to assist you. There is no action required on your part at this time. If a problem arises, simply call 1-855-252-0908 and a dedicated investigator will do the work to recover financial losses, restore your credit, and make sure your identity is returned to its proper condition.
For additional protection, affected U.S. customers may enroll in the AllClear PRO service and affected Canadian customers may enroll in the Equifax Premier service at no cost to them at any time during the next 12 months. These services are available through September 8, 2015, and include credit monitoring and an identity theft insurance policy.
You are eligible to receive these services if you used a payment card at one of The Home Depot’s stores in 2014, from April on.