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Home Depot confirms payment system data breach

Home Depot confirms payment system data breach

Home Depot Inc. confirmed Monday its payment data systems have been breached, which it said could potentially affect customers using payment cards in its U.S. and Canadian stores, but said there is no evidence its customers' debit PIN numbers were compromised.

According to media reports last week, customer data could have been stolen from nearly all of Atlanta-based Home Depot's 2,200 stores in the United States. Observers have said if true, last year's breach of Minneapolis-based Target Corp. could pale in comparison.

Last week, litigation seeking class action status in connection with the breach was filed in federal District Court in Atlanta.

Home Depot said in its announcement that its investigation is focused on “April forward,” and that it has taken “aggressive steps” to address the malware and protect consumer data.

The hardware chain said in addition to there being no evidence that debit PIN numbers were compromised, there is no evidence the breach has affected stores in Mexico or customers who shopped online at

The retailer is offering free identity theft protection services, including credit monitoring, to any customers who used a payment card at a Home Depot store in 2014 beginning in April.

“We apologize for the frustration and anxiety this causes our customers, and I want to thank them for their patience and support as we work through this issue,” said Frank Blake, chairman and CEO, in a statement. “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.”

Home Depot said its investigation began Sept. 2, immediately after it received word from its banking partners and law enforcement that criminals may have hacked its payment data systems. It said since then, the company's internal information technology security team has been working around the clock with leading information technology security firms, its banks partners and the Secret Service to gather facts and provide information to customers.

A Home Depot spokesman did not immediately respond to a query about the firm's cyber coverage.

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