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Day: September 19, 2014

Home Depot breach bigger than Target at 56 million cards

A closeup of an electronic payment station at a Home Depot store in Daly CityA closeup of an electronic payment station is shown at a Home Depot store in Daly City, California, in this February 21, 2012 file photo. REUTERS/Beck Diefenbach

BOSTON/CHICAGO (Reuters) – Home Depot Inc (HD.N) Thursday said some 56 million payment cards were likely compromised in a cyberattack at its stores, suggesting the hacking attack at the home improvement chain was larger than last year’s unprecedented breach at Target Corp (TGT.N).

Home Depot, in providing the first clues to how much the breach would cost, said that so far it has estimated costs of $62 million. But it indicated that costs could reach much higher.

It will take months to determine the full scope of the fraud, which affected Home Depot stores in both the United States and Canada and ran from April to September.

Retailer Target incurred costs of $148 million in its second fiscal quarter related to its breach. Target hackers stole at least 40 million payment card numbers and 70 million other pieces of customer data.

Home Depot said that criminals used unique, custom-built software that had not been seen in previous attacks and was designed to evade detection in its most complete account of what had happened since it first disclosed the breach on Sept. 8.

The company said that the hackers’ method of entry has been closed off, the malware eliminated from its network, and that it had rolled out “enhanced encryption of payment data” to all U.S. stores.

“We apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and anxiety this has caused and want to reassure them that they will not be liable for fraudulent charges,” Chief Executive Frank Blake said in a statement.

Of the estimated cost so far of $62 million, which covers such items as credit monitoring, increased call center staffing, and legal and professional services, Home Depot said it believes that $27 million of the amount will be paid for by insurers.

But the company said it has not yet estimated the impact of “probable losses” related to the possible need to reimburse banks for fraud and card replacement, as well as covering costs of lawsuits and government investigations.

“Those costs may have a material adverse effect on The Home Depot’s financial results in the fourth quarter and/or future periods,” the company said in its statement.

Wesley McGrew, an expert of retail breaches who is an assistant research professor at the department of computer science at Mississippi State University, said that Home Depot is going to be expected to bear the costs related to fraud and payment card replacement.

Banks typically seek to get retailers to cover those costs if there are any indications of shortcomings in their security.

Criminals have frequently used software that evades detection, but retailers are expected to closely monitor their networks using tools that are designed to uncover signs of a crime in progress, McGrew said.

“It’s hard to feel sorry for them when there are things they could have done to improve the security of these transactions,” McGrew said.

Hitesh Sheth, chief executive of Vectra Networks, a cybersecurity firm in San Jose, California, said Home Depot’s breach exposes a weakness, noting that the company said hackers used unique, custom-built malware.

That “essentially means the technology they are using is only designed to detect malware that has already been used in a previous attack, and that is symptomatic of the retail industry,” Sheth said.

“Retailers need to upgrade to technology that is available and detects behavior of malware that is new because these attacks are not going to stop anytime soon.”

For its fiscal year ending in February, Home Depot revised its earnings estimate to $4.54 per share from $4.52. In addition to the cost related to the breach, it said the estimate includes a pre-tax gain of about $100 million on the sale of 3.6 million common shares of HD Supply stock.

The company left its outlook for sales growth for the year at 4.8 percent.

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Learn Why And How They Can Assist You With Your Motor-Repair Issues

111-602x300It’s very frustrating when something happens to your vehicle and you have absolutely no idea how to go about it. But it’s even worse when you don’t know your consumer rights in regards to your policy with the insurer. When an accident occurs, the first thing you want to do is to get back your vehicle on the road as soon as possible. Furthermore, this is the time you’re likely to succumb to pressure from your insurer, pushing you to settle for anything that comes onto the

table.
Because such kinds of situations are highly demanding and not right for the consumer who is not aware, it’s only best that you do business with a reputable person. A reputable person won’t take advantage of the fact that you don’t know. Furthermore, they’ll educate you on your rights as a motorist before getting into business with you, and that’s the kind of honesty you’d want in every dealing that concerns your vehicle.
Why Da-Les Auto Body?
There are lots of cars in California, meaning auto body repair is something inevitable. The fact that there are plenty of auto body repair shops around doesn’t mean you can always get your car fixed with the kind of quality you want. In addition to that, identifying the person who will get the job done and not exploit you is also a challenge.
That’s why Da-Les Auto body is there to assist you with all your motoring repair needs. They’ve been into business for 36 years now, a full proof that they only produce quality work, not mediocre kind of service. They are complaint to laws governing motor repair as well as highest industry standards to the satisfaction of their clients.
What the law says
The company has always maintained an A plus rating with the BBB over the years. Part of the reason as to why the company is soaring high is because of the fact that they strive to make clients knowledgeable of the laws governing them as motorists. The law allows clients to choose what they think is best, and is not manipulative whatsoever.
The California Auto Body Consumer bill of rights, which came into force in the year 2009 require that consumers should be aware of what to expect whenever insurance-covered work is being done on their vehicle.
Insurers have a role to play whenever a new client is signing a policy with them. They have to clearly spell out the rights of the client to them before signing a contract with them. If they don’t, then they are breaching consumer rights.
The law is very clear on how repairs sponsored by the insurers should be done. For example, no insurance company should require a client to take their vehicle to a specified repair shop. Instead, clients should choose which shop they want to take their vehicles to.
The law also requires that vehicle owners know exactly which kind of parts go to their vehicles. Furthermore, the insurer should provide contacts in which clients can use to report problems to the California Bureau of Automotive Repairs.
And finally, consumers have the right to sort out an independent estimate of the cost of damages on their vehicle. No one should force them to work with the estimate of the insurer.
The last part came after realizing that some insurers were notorious with trying to convince vehicle owners to work with their own estimates, even if they were wrong. Normally they have a very good reason as to why they are doing that-they want to profit from the same.
Conclusion
When you know your rights, you’ll get things sorted out as fast as you’d want them to Furthermore, the insurer won’t exploit you because you know what to expect from them. But most importantly, the motor repair shop you work with must also abide by these rules. That’s why you need to seek the services of Da-Les Auto Body and not go anywhere else.
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