The Home Depot investigates possible payment card data breach

US home improvement firm has confirmed it's looking into reports that its customers' payment card data may have been compromised

Credit card security

A US home improvement firm has moved to assure customers that it's investigating a possible data breach that may have led to their payment card details becoming compromised.

The Home Depot, which has 2,200 outlets across the US, took the unusual step of flagging that a potential breach may have occurred, but revealed it's still in the process of confirming this.

"We're looking into some unusual activity that might indicate a possible payment data breach and we're working with our banking partners and law enforcement to investigate," the company said, in a statement released earlier today.

"We know this news may be concerning and we apologise for the worry this can create.

"If we confirm a breach has occurred, we will make sure our customers are notified immediately," it adds.

While it sets about confirming this, the company is calling on its customers to closely monitor their bank accounts for any unusual activity and instructing them to immediately notify their card issuer should they spot any.

"If we confirm a breach, we will offer free identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to any potentially impacted customers."

At the time of writing, there was no indication as to how many customers could be potentially affected by the breach, or over what time period it may have occurred.

Ken Westin, security analyst at vendor TripWire, said The Home Depot's reactive response to the news of the breach is in keeping with how other retailers have dealt with similar issues.

"Pretty much all of these [US] retailers [who've suffered breaches in the past]  have been notified of potential fraud after the fact usually by fraud analysts at financial institutions who detect stolen credit card activity. They then map the activity back to specific retailers as the common point of origin," he said.

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