An announcement was made by Home Depot that a network hack that was previously announced which led to the release of certain credit card data for customers also infiltrated their email lists with approximately 53 million email addresses being stolen by hackers.
The infiltration of the Home Depot network was made through a third party vendor in a pattern that is similar to other recent infiltrations. In the recent infiltration of Target’s network, a similar method was used where hackers infiltrated the network through a refrigerator contractor who accessed the network through an electronic billing system. Access through the third party vendor at Home Depot was obtained through the third party vendor’s login name and password.
Hackers were able to spot point of sale registers based upon their names in the network that made them easily identifiable to hackers and which led to the theft of the credit card data.
The size of the Home Depot data breach is beyond the size and scope of the Target loss. Security experts have criticized Home Depot for not fully segregating the sensitive and non-sensitive components of their network.
Home Depot has been in the process of contacting customers who are affected. My friend Bruce Karatz says he was left a message, which said Home Depot is offering free credit monitoring services for one year.