Home Depot CEO: Probe of possible breach continues

SHARE Home Depot CEO: Probe of possible breach continues

Home Depot’s outgoing CEO Frank Blake told investors Thursday the nation’s largest home-improvement chain continues to investigate a potential breach at the company and reassured that customers will not be liable for any potential fraudulent charges.

In his first public comments about the issue, Blake didn’t confirm that a breach actually happened but said that Home Depot found out about the possible data theft early Tuesday.

He told investors during an address at the Goldman Sachs Global Retailing Conference on Thursday, that companies in this situation have a choice: to wait or “communicate the facts as you know them.”

“We chose the latter path,” he said.

Blake told investors that Home Depot will be activating chip-enabled checkout terminals at all of its stores by the end of the year. That technology helps makes transactions more secure.

“Cybersecurity is a major issue,” he added.

Home Depot said on Wednesday that it has hired security firms Symantec and FishNet Security to help it investigate the possible hacking.

The possible breach at Home Depot was first reported by Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security, a website that focuses on cybersecurity. Krebs said multiple banks reported “evidence that Home Depot stores may be the source of a massive new batch of stolen credit and debit cards” that went on sale on the black market earlier Tuesday.

Krebs also reported that a preliminary analysis indicates the breach may have affected all 2,200 Home Depot stores.

Hackers have broken security walls for many retailers in recent months, including Target, grocer Supervalu, restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s and the thrift store operations of Goodwill. The breaches have rattled shoppers’ confidence in the security of their personal data and pushed retailers, banks and card companies to increase security by speeding the adoption of microchips in U.S. credit and debit cards.

Target, based in Minneapolis, is still trying to get beyond its massive breach that occurred late last year and hurt sales, profits and its reputation with customers.

BY ANNE D’INNOCENZIO, AP Retail Writer

The Latest
Courtney Vandersloot hit a three-pointer as time expired, and the Sky prevailed 88-85. Vandersloot led the Sky with 18 points. Candace Parker added 13 points and eight rebounds, and Emma Meesseman scored 15 points.
Contreras had three RBI and drove in the tiebreaking run in the 10th inning Sunday.
While incarcerated on a gun conviction, Devon Harper allegedly admitted to an unrelated fatal shooting in 2020. He was arrested Friday when he was paroled from the Menard Correctional Center.
There’s a widespread belief among those close to the game that Sox chairman Jerry Reinsdorf won’t stand for the removal of Tony La Russa during the season. Why is that?
Third baseman Yoan Moncada could start when he’s eligible to return from the 10-day injured list. A more curious situation involves outfielder Eloy Jiménez.