Home Depot’s malware infection

The size of the theft at Home Depot trails only that of the heist of data from 90 million TJX Cos. customers, which was disclosed in 2007. Target’s breach compromised 40 million credit and debit cards.

The Home Depot says it has eliminated malware from U.S. and Canadian networks that affected 56 million unique payment cards between April and September.

According to the Associated Press, the Atlanta-based company said Thursday it has completed a “major” security project that enhances the encryption of customers’ payment data in U.S. stores.

Home Depot also is confirming to AP its sales-growth estimates for the fiscal year and expects to earn $4.54 per share in fiscal 2014, up 2 cents from its prior guidance.

Then how can we secure our such sensitive stuff?

Target’s high-profile breach pushed banks, retailers and card companies to increase security by speeding the adoption of microchips in U.S. credit and debit cards. Supporters say chip cards are safer, because unlike magnetic strip cards that transfer a credit card number when they are swiped at a point-of-sale terminal, chip cards use a one-time code that moves between the chip and the retailer’s register. The result is a transfer of data that is useless to anyone except the parties involved. Chip cards are also nearly impossible to copy, experts say.

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