The Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) has confirmed what the news reports were indicating — its payment data systems have been breached! The retail giant said the breach could potentially impact customers using payment cards at its U.S. and Canadian stores. While this is bad news on the surface, there is some news that so far is at least not as bad as some customers (and investors) may have feared.
Home Depot said that there is no evidence that the breach has impacted stores in Mexico or customers who shopped online at HomeDepot.com. Home Depot said that there is no evidence of debit PIN numbers compromised. Also, no customers will be liable for fraudulent charges.
Another issue is that Home Depot’s investigation is focused on April forward. Home Depot is now offering free identity protection services and credit monitoring to any customer who used a payment card at a Home Depot store in 2014, from April on.
Chairman & CEO Frank Blake said:
We apologize for the frustration and anxiety this causes our customers, and I want to thank them for their patience and support as we work through this issue. We owe it to our customers to alert them that we now have enough evidence to confirm that a breach has indeed occurred. It’s important to emphasize that no customers will be responsible for fraudulent charges to their accounts.
Home Depot shares closed down 0.86% at $90.82 on Monday and shares were indicated up about 30-cents after the news break. As a reminder, Oppenheimer recently signaled that the data breach was going to be speed bump rather than a serious long-term issue.
Further quotes as follows:
- The investigation began on Tuesday morning, September 2, immediately after the company received reports from its banking partners and law enforcement that criminals may have hacked its payment data systems.
- Since then, the company’s internal IT security team has been working around the clock with leading IT security firms, its banking partners and the Secret Service to rapidly gather facts and provide information to customers.
- Responding to the increasing threat of cyber-attacks on the retail industry, The Home Depot previously confirmed it will roll out EMV “Chip and PIN” to all U.S. stores by the end of this year, well in advance of the October 2015 deadline established by the payments industry.