With the information that as many as one out of every four Americans may be impacted by the recently announced possible Home Depot data breach, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin is reminding Rhode Island consumers to monitor debit and credit card activity regularly and report suspicious charges immediately.
It is not clear yet how many consumers are affected by the latest breach or the level of information the thieves may have accessed, but it was reported on a security blog earlier this week that Home Depot stores may have been the source of a massive new batch of stolen credit and debit cards that were being sold on the black market.
Kilmartin sent a letter to Home Depot asking to confirm the data breach and provide details as to the number of Rhode Island consumers that may be impacted. In response, Home Depot has informed the Office that the company is working with its banking partners, technology vendors, security experts, and law enforcement to confirm if a breach has occurred and the potential impact on customers.
“Unfortunately data breaches are becoming the new norm as more and more information is collected and stored in cyberspace. Hackers, often based overseas and out of jurisdiction for law enforcement, are extremely sophisticated leaving virtually no trace of their infiltration of a corporate network until it’s too late. It is often months before a company is made aware of a breach. The best protection for consumers is to be vigilant in monitoring accounts, reporting suspicious activity and limiting exposure to this type of theft,” said Attorney General Kilmartin.
This reported data breach is the latest in a series of high profile breaches of major retail companies. In December 2013, Target announced a data breach that may have impacted more than 100 million consumers. In recent months other companies, including restaurant chain P.F. Chang’s and grocer SuperValu.
Attorney General Kilmartin offered the following helpful information to consumers who may have shopped at Home Depot within the last several months:
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