Home Depot is investigating a potential data breach that may be even larger than the massive hack that hit Target last year.
During the Target hack, data from more than 40 million payment cards was stolen over the course of three weeks during the busy holiday shopping period.
Home Depot’s potential breach may extend back to late April or May, according to several banks familiar with the matter, reports Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security.
“If that is accurate — and if even a majority of Home Depot stores were compromised — this breach could be many times larger than Target,” Krebs writes.
He said it’s not clear how many stores have been impacted, “but preliminary analysis indicates the breach may extend across all 2,200 Home Depot stores in the United States.”
Home Depot has roughly 400 more U.S. stores than Target.
The home-improvement chain said Wednesday that it’s still investigating “unusual activity” and hasn’t confirmed whether a breach actually occurred, the Wall Street Journal reports.
Target is still trying to recover from the impact of its breach, which has cost the company more than $US150 million so far, according to the Journal.
“Customer traffic and sales sank following the holiday data breach at Target, and the retailer’s chief information officer and CEO left in its wake,” Shelly Banjo writes. “According to Stifel Nicolaus analyst David Schick, a similarly sized breach could dent Home Depot’s earnings by seven cents a share in 2014, when the company has forecast $US4.52 a share.”
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