Home Depot may have become yet another major retailer to have been hit in a data breach.
According to a report by security blogger Brian Krebs, Home Depot is investigating a report that it was the victim of a data breach affecting credit and debit card information, and is working with banks and law enforcement to spot any suspicious activity.
"At this point, I can confirm that we’re looking into some unusual activity and we are working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate," Home Depot spokesperson Paula Drake said in a statement issued to SecurityWeek. "Protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers. If we confirm that a breach has occurred, we will make sure customers are notified immediately."
"Right now, for security reasons, it would be inappropriate for us to speculate further. We will provide further information as soon as possible," Drake said.
According to Krebs, it is possible the attackers linked to the apparent breach are the same ones were involved in the attack on Target, which exposed millions of credit card and debit card numbers. The same attack group was also linked to attacks on P.F. Chang's and other companies. Earlier today, a large collection of debit and credit card numbers possibly linked to Home Depot went on sale on a notorious underground market.
"All retailers face a substantial security challenge because each store is a point of presence in their overall network and it only takes a single POS [point of sale] device that is compromised to enable threat actors to access a retailer’s infrastructure," said Nick Levay, CSO at Bit9. "The key to preventing these credit card breaches is to lock down every single POS device, as well as the servers and other back-office machines that process and store customer transaction data. The technology exists and it’s incumbent on the industry to protect their customers by deploying proven technologies that can prevent unauthorized access."
"The attacks we see today are increasingly targeted and sophisticated, and hackers will try any means necessary to steal valid user credentials that allow them to walk right through the front door and maneuver around the IT network undetected," added Nir Polak, CEO and co-founder of Exabeam. "Once hackers get access to these credentials, it's game over for the business unless it can more quickly identify these network imposters before a breach takes hold."
"Enterprises are failing to keep up with hackers because there are literally thousands of ways to successfully steal valid user credentials, be it malware or other attack tools," Polak added. "To reverse this dynamic and stay one step ahead of hackers, there needs to be zero trust within an IT environment. Businesses need to assume their networks have already been compromised and focus on monitoring for patterns of suspicious user behavior as a result of stolen credentials, rather than defending against points of intrusion."
Home Depot has more than 2,200 stores throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico.