Home Depot (HD) is reportedly the latest added to a growing list of retailers like Target (TGT) and P.F. Chang's that have seen their customer payment data hacked -- but is the concern to customers the least of it (or at least not the whole story)?
While the home improvement chain said in a statement it's working with banks and authorities to investigate unusual activity, the cyber security blogger who broke the story found more details that led him to speculate the hack "was intended retribution for U.S. and European sanctions against Russia for its aggressive actions in Ukraine."
Brian Krebs of Krebs on Security reported evidence Tuesday that Home Depot was the source of a "massive" batch of stolen debit and credit cards that were put up for sale on the black market.
According to Krebs, the newest batches of cards for sale were sold under the title "American Sanctions" and "European Sanctions," and signs indicate the cybercrime perpetrators may be the same group of Russian and Ukrainian hackers responsible for the data breaches at Target. He reported the breach could have reached across all 2,200 Home Depot stores in the U.S. If a majority of stores were compromised, the breach will be larger than Target's.
Krebs was the first to break the story of the massive data breach at Target around the holidays, in which at least 40 million payment card numbers were stolen -- the biggest retail hack in U.S. history according to Businessweek.
Home Depot has said customers will be notified immediately if the retailer confirms a breach.
Meanwhile, in response to another cyberattack the FBI is investigating -- that of JPMorgan (JPM), the biggest U.S. bank -- the former director of the National Security Agency Keith Alexander said hackers "may have been trying to send a message that U.S. financial institutions can be disrupted," Bloomberg reports. The FBI is looking into whether JPMorgan and other banks were targeted in retailiation for U.S. sanctions against Russia.
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