Home Depot hacker hosing cost a wallet-draining $43m (so far)

Card firms might make claims against hardware giant, it warns


Hacked hardware mart Home Depot has forked out $43m to quash spot fires emanating from the data breach inferno this year, SEC filing documents show.

The payout covered damages from the theft of 56 million payment cards and 53 million email addresses.

It covered the cost of investigating this year's five-month-long breach, hiring expensive forensics teams, call centre operators to field angry customer inquiries, and free credit monitoring for victims.

"Expenses include costs to investigate the data breach; provide identity protection services, including credit monitoring, to impacted customers; increase call center staffing; and pay legal and other professional services, all of which were expensed as incurred," the filing read.

Home Depot had deployed encryption to protect card data and introduced EMV payment terminals into stores.

More financial pain could be on the way if payment card networks invoice Home Depot for fraud against cards.

About $15m of the $43m was expected to be paid out under its $100m data breach insurance policies.

"It's probable that the payment card networks will make claims against the company," Home Depot said in the filing. "The ultimate amount of these claims will likely include amounts for incremental counterfeit fraud losses and non-ordinary course operating expenses (such as card re-issuance costs) that the payment card networks assert they, or their issuing banks, have incurred."

The attack was said to have leveraged third-party credentials which carders used to gain access and then pivot laterally within the Home Depot network.

More blood would have been spilt if the attackers had recognised 70,000 additional registers that bore numerical device names, and hence were not immediately recognisable as payment terminals.

Attackers remained hidden for five months, infiltrating the network only during US business hours to stay under security radars. ®

Similar topics

Broader topics


Other stories you might like

  • Halfords suffers a puncture in the customer details department
    I like driving in my car, hope my data's not gone far

    UK automobile service and parts seller Halfords has shared the details of its customers a little too freely, according to the findings of a security researcher.

    Like many, cyber security consultant Chris Hatton used Halfords to keep his car in tip-top condition, from tires through to the annual safety checks required for many UK cars.

    In January, Hatton replaced a tire on his car using a service from Halfords. It's a simple enough process – pick a tire online, select a date, then wait. A helpful confirmation email arrived with a link for order tracking. A curious soul, Hatton looked at what was happening behind the scenes when clicking the link and "noticed some API calls that seemed ripe for an IDOR" [Insecure Direct Object Reference].

    Continue reading
  • Interpol anti-fraud operation busts call centers behind business email scams
    1,770 premises raided, 2,000 arrested, $50m seized

    Law enforcement agencies around the world have arrested about 2,000 people and seized $50 million in a sweeping operation crackdown of social engineering and other scam operations around the globe.

    In the latest action in the ongoing "First Light", an operation Interpol has coordinated annually since 2014, law enforcement officials from 76 countries raided 1,770 call centers suspected of running fraudulent operations such as telephone and romance scams, email deception scams, and financial crimes.

    Among the 2,000 people arrested in Operation First Light 2022 were call center operators and fraudsters, and money launderers. Interpol stated that the operation also saw 4,000 bank accounts frozen and 3,000 suspects identified.

    Continue reading
  • Info on 1.5m people stolen from US bank in cyberattack
    Time to rethink that cybersecurity strategy?

    A US bank has said at least the names and social security numbers of more than 1.5 million of its customers were stolen from its computers in December.

    In a statement to the office of Maine's Attorney General this month, Flagstar Bank said it was compromised between December and April 2021. The organization's sysadmins, however, said they hadn't fully figured out whose data had been stolen, and what had been taken, until now. On June 2, they concluded criminals "accessed and/or acquired" files containing personal information on 1,547,169 people.

    "Flagstar experienced a cyber incident that involved unauthorized access to our network," the bank said in a statement emailed to The Register.

    Continue reading
  • State of internet crime in Q1 2022: Bot traffic on the rise, and more
    According to this cybersecurity outfit that wants your business, anyway

    The fraud industry, in some respects, grew in the first quarter of the year, with crooks putting more human resources into some attacks while increasingly relying on bots to carry out things like credential stuffing and fake account creation.

    That's according to Arkose Labs, which claimed in its latest State of Fraud and Account Security report that one in four online accounts created in Q1 2022 were fake and used for fraud, scams, and the like.

    The biz, which touts device and network defense software, said it came to this conclusion after analyzing "billions of sessions ... across our global network" during the first three months of the year. These sessions apparently spanned account registrations, logins, and interactions with financial, ecommerce, travel, social media, gaming, and entertainment services. Take all these numbers with a grain of salt as ultimately Arkose wants you to buy its stuff to prevent all this kind of crime.

    Continue reading
  • Verizon: Ransomware sees biggest jump in five years
    We're only here for DBIRs

    The cybersecurity landscape continues to expand and evolve rapidly, fueled in large part by the cat-and-mouse game between miscreants trying to get into corporate IT environments and those hired by enterprises and security vendors to keep them out.

    Despite all that, Verizon's annual security breach report is again showing that there are constants in the field, including that ransomware continues to be a fast-growing threat and that the "human element" still plays a central role in most security breaches, whether it's through social engineering, bad decisions, or similar.

    According to the US carrier's 2022 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) released this week [PDF], ransomware accounted for 25 percent of the observed security incidents that occurred between November 1, 2020, and October 31, 2021, and was present in 70 percent of all malware infections. Ransomware outbreaks increased 13 percent year-over-year, a larger increase than the previous five years combined.

    Continue reading
  • Millions of people's info stolen from MGM Resorts dumped on Telegram for free
    Meanwhile, Twitter coughs up $150m after using account security contact details for advertising

    Miscreants have dumped on Telegram more than 142 million customer records stolen from MGM Resorts, exposing names, postal and email addresses, phone numbers, and dates of birth for any would-be identity thief.

    The vpnMentor research team stumbled upon the files, which totaled 8.7 GB of data, on the messaging platform earlier this week, and noted that they "assume at least 30 million people had some of their data leaked." MGM Resorts, a hotel and casino chain, did not respond to The Register's request for comment.

    The researchers reckon this information is linked to the theft of millions of guest records, which included the details of Twitter's Jack Dorsey and pop star Justin Bieber, from MGM Resorts in 2019 that was subsequently distributed via underground forums.

    Continue reading
  • US recovers a record $15m from the 3ve ad-fraud crew
    Swiss banks cough up around half of the proceeds of crime

    The US government has recovered over $15 million in proceeds from the 3ve digital advertising fraud operation that cost businesses more than $29 million for ads that were never viewed.

    "This forfeiture is the largest international cybercrime recovery in the history of the Eastern District of New York," US Attorney Breon Peace said in a statement

    The action, Peace added, "sends a powerful message to those involved in cyber fraud that there are no boundaries to prosecuting these bad actors and locating their ill-gotten assets wherever they are in the world."

    Continue reading

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2022