Note: Share this with everyone you know. If you aren't a victim of this massive breach, a friend or family member might be.
It's confirmed. Home Depot has admitted that not only did hackers breach their point-of-sale software, but 56 million credit and debit cards could be at risk. That's about 16 million more victims than the Target breach that rocked the company earlier this year.
Working alongside the U.S. Secret Service, Home Depot's security team claims that the crooks used "unique custom-built malware to evade detection" that hadn't been seen in any other attack.
I always want my listeners to protect themselves against attacks like this, but this time it's personal. My mom shopped at Home Depot between the months of April and September of this year, while the hack was secretly collecting customers' payment information.
That means that somewhere on some hacker's computer, there might be a file with her credit card information just waiting to be exploited. The advice I gave her when she called me this morning will be the same advice that I'm giving you right now.
Think your card might be up for sale on an underground black market site? Here are the steps that you need to take:
- Figure out the last time you shopped at a Home Depot. Go back through your credit card statements if necessary. If you didn't use a debit, credit or other payment card at a Home Depot between the months of April and September, then you're in the clear.
- After confirming the card used at a Home Depot, it's time to start monitoring your account. You don't have to cancel your card just yet. Keep an eye on the charges to make sure that the only ones showing up are ones that you've made yourself.
- Look out for small charges. Hackers might be stealing a dollar here and there. If you add up a dollar from every single credit card that was stolen - that's $56 million.
- If you see a strange charge on your account, then immediately alert your bank and get yourself a new credit or debit card.
Confirm that you weren't hit by this attack and keep an eye out for more updates for this developing situation.