Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) has reportedly become the next target of another cyberattack with credit and/or debit card information being stolen. The site KrebsOnSecurity showed that multiple banks were seeing evidence that Home Depot may be the victim of cybercrime. The news had Home Depot shares down well over 2%, and that is on more than double the normal trading volume.
Reports from KrebsOnSecurity, Dow Jones and CNBC have shown that Home Depot is working closely with its banking partners and law enforcement agencies to investigate this activity. Investors have to be wondering if this is good news for Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW) or whether it just means they could be at risk as well. One beneficiary has been FireEye Inc. (NASDAQ: FEYE).
The Krebs report included a quote from Home Depot, but no formal release has been made by the retailer. Krebs also said that signs of the apparent breach point to the same group of Russian and Ukrainian hackers who were responsible for recent hack attacks that hit Target, Sally Beauty and P.F. Chang’s.
What is hard to know at this point is just how bad the hack is or was, outside of if it is verified soon. Target’s stock took a beating after its data breach and its ongoing warnings and woes that were made in recent months. This sure seems to more than hint of damaged ongoing customer relations. The flip side of the Target news is that it is not as easy of a case to make that this will damage the customer relations at Home Depot.
Amazingly, the news is not helping shares of rival Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW). The smaller of the home building improvement giants was down by 0.2% at $52.40 in late afternoon trading on Tuesday. Its 52-week range is $44.13 to $53.04. Home Depot shares were down 2.7% at $90.51 on more than 15 million shares with just under 90 minutes until the close of trading. Its 52-week range is $72.21 to $93.52.
The cybersecurity threat monitor and resolution service FireEye was noted as a beneficiary of this news. Its stock was up 7% at $33.35 on 14 million shares with just under 90 minutes until the close. That is nearing three-times the normal trading volume — and it looks as though this may move it to the highest number of shares in a single session this summer. FireEye’s record volume this summer was 15.82 million shares on August 19.
What has become more than obvious is that cyber-criminals may pose a risk to any and every retailer out there. The only thing that may be saving smaller companies is that there is potentially so much more to gain by attacking the top retail destinations in the world.
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