It’s official. The Home Depot HD +0.47% data breach is far larger than last year’s breach at Target TGT +0.07%. Fifty-six million cards were stolen over a five month period of time. According to the Wall Street Journal and others, the Target breach topped out at approximately 40 million cards. Given that we’re not in the middle of a busy holiday season, the thieves clearly needed more time to amass that quantity. But they got them.
The technique they used to grab the data was similar to, but not identical to the one used at Target. It’s called “skimming,” and can take several forms. In earlier days, thieves would place a hardware chip inside payment terminals and capture the keystrokes entered during every transaction. Now, they’ve written software to grab the data as it comes in. We know how the thieves got into Target’s main systems in the first place. Thus far, the technique they used to get into Home Depot’s network has not been exposed, nor have the techniques they used to exfiltrate (remove) the data from Home Depot’s systems been revealed.
continue to full stury in Forbes online.