The Washington Post

Home Depot investigating possible security breach


A shopping cart is seen in a Home Depot location in Niles, Ill. (Jim Young/Reuters)


Home Depot said on Tuesday it is investigating a possible security breach of its customers' data.

Spokeswoman Paula Drake said in a statement that the retail giant is "looking into some unusual activity" in collaboration with its banking partners and law enforcement officials.

"If we confirm that a breach has occurred, we will make sure customers are notified immediately," Drake said.

The news of the possible breach was first reported by Krebs on Security, a Web site dedicated to cybersecurity news.

Home Depot's investigation follows news of security breaches at other high-profile retailers. Last December, Target announced that the credit card information of millions of its customers had been stolen. The company's sales stumbled in the wake of the revelation, and Target has since said that the breach has so far cost the firm $146 million.

Home Depot has over 2,200 stores, most of which are in the United States. The retailer has 180 outposts in Canada and 107 stores in Mexico. Headquartered in Atlanta, the home improvement goods store is the fifth-largest retailer in the nation, according to a ranking by the National Retail Federation based on retailers' 2013 sales. 

Home Depot says it is working with law enforcement to investigate "some unusual activity" related to customer data. The possible breach could affect more than 2,000 stores nationwide. (Reuters)

The company in August announced strong second-quarter earnings results, with a solid uptick in overall sales that was in part fueled by accelerating sales of big-ticket items such as appliances, windows and water heaters.

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.



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