Published September 03, 2014
Home Depot (HD) took steps to reassure customers a day after disclosing a possible security breach of credit and debit cards.
The home-improvement retailer said Wednesday that it still hasn’t determined whether a breach actually occurred but told customers they won’t be responsible for any possible fraudulent charges on their credit or debit cards if one did.
The company advised customers to closely monitor their accounts and contact their card issuers if they notice any unusual activity. It also promised to offer free identity-protection services, including credit monitoring, to any affected customers if it ends up confirming a breach occurred.
Home Depot said Tuesday that it was working with banks and law-enforcement agencies to investigate what it called unusual activity that might indicate a possible payment data breach.
“We know that this news may be concerning and we apologize for the worry this can create,” Home Depot said on a notice posted on its website. “If we confirm a breach has occurred, we will make sure our customers are notified immediately.”
S&P Capital IQ analyst Efraim Levy reiterated a hold rating for Home Depot, saying the company appears ready to respond if a breach did in fact occur.
Home Depot is operationally and financially in a better position than Target (TGT) was at the time of last year’s massive data breach, Levy added in a note sent to clients. But costs to Home Depot could run into the hundreds of millions of dollars if it discovers a breach similar in size to Target’s.
Target was the subject of a cyber-attack that exposed 40 million credit and debit cards at the start of the holiday shopping season.
Reuters contributed to this report.