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Home Depot cyber breach costs at $33 million and counting

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Home Depot Inc. incurred $33 million of pretax net expenses related to last year's data breach in 2014, but still cannot estimate the breach's ultimate cost, the Atlanta-based retailer said in its fourth quarter 2014 results, which were issued Tuesday.

Home Depot said $5 million of the $33 million was recognized in the fourth quarter. The company said in its announcement that other than the $33 million reported to date, it is “not able to estimate the costs, or a range of costs, related to the breach.”

Home Depot said these costs could include liabilities to payment card networks for reimbursements of credit card fraud and card reissuance costs; liabilities related to the company's private label credit card fraud and card reissuance; liabilities from current and future civil litigation and government investigations, among other expenses.

Home Depot had $105 million in cyber insurance at the time of the breach, according to market sources.

Meanwhile, the judge in charge of litigation filed against Home Depot in connection with the breach has set dates for filings in the case.

Chief U.S. District Judge Thomas W. Thrash for the Northern District of Georgia, who set up separate consumer and financial institution litigation tracks last month, said in an order last week that consumers and financial institutions will have until May 1 and May 15 respectively to file master complaints in the case. In addition, Judge Thrash set March 25 for a status conference in his Atlanta courtroom.