ATLANTA — The largest home improvement retailer has confirmed that they are now a victim of a breach. Home Deport confirmed early Monday that its payment data systems had been breached.
Fortunately, Mexico and HomeDepot.com was not affected by the breach. The company has confirmed that they are investigating transactions made from April 2014 till present. Although payment data was compromised, officials say that there is no evidence that debit PIN numbers were compromised.
In the release confirming the breach, Home Depot chairman and CEO Frank Blake stated, We apologize for the frustration and anxiety this causes our customers, adding that he thanks customers for their patience as his company tries to resolve the 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, he said.
Before the Home Depot’s data breach occurred the Target data breach, which sparked media attention in late 2013. FORBES Sam Sharf reported last week, Home Depot could have a similar-sized bill:
Based on Target’s 11 cent per share cost ($148 million less $38 million in insurance coverage) Schick believes a breach would cut roughly 7 cents from Home Depot’s 2014 earnings per share.
Schick added, Perhaps more importantly, TGT experienced meaningfully weaker sales (-2% to -6%) following the breach announcement despite significant promotional activity (before sales improved after the holiday season) though there were many negative factors at work relative to TGT revenue at holiday. A sales decline at Home Depot could have a five to 10 cent impact on earnings per share, said Schick. Yet as consumers become more accustomed to breaches of this scale there is a diminishing impact so he would err on the low end of that range.
If there is any good news its that Home Depot has offered free identity protection services to customers who were affected with the breach.