The hackers that engineered a massive credit card breach at Home Depot last September appear to have also exposed 53 million customer email addresses, reports The Wall Street Journal’s Shelly Banjo.
The company had been investigating the data breach with help from outside IT security experts, it said in a press release.
Home Depot says it is notifying customers whose email addresses were exposed.
Home Depot confirmed the hackers’ success at stealing credit card data in a statement two months ago.
“We want you to know that we have now confirmed that those systems have in fact been breached, which could potentially impact any customer that has used their payment card at our U.S. and Canadian stores, from April forward,” said Home Depot at the time.
The hackers reportedly accessed Home Depot’s customer data through a vendor’s billing account, which led them to some of the company’s point of sale (POS) terminals.
Retailer Target also suffered a similar credit card data breach last winter, and as the Wall Street Journal reports, it happened in much the same way, through a refrigeration contractor’s electronic billing account, then filtering down to payment terminals.
It’s unclear what the hackers’ plans are for the stolen email addresses.