Home Depot agrees to pay customers $20M to settle that massive 2014 hack

home depot security breach settlement
Mike Mozart/Flickr
Home Depot’s security breach 18 months ago was hugely embarrassing for the company, and only now is it coming near to finally bringing the matter to a close.

The retail giant said Tuesday it’s agreed to pay a minimum of $19.5 million in compensation to customers caught up in the incident that saw cybercriminals nab payment card information and email addresses belonging to tens of millions of Home Depot shoppers.

If approved by the courts, the settlement will take care of nearly 60 proposed class-action lawsuits that resulted from the security breach, though Home Depot has always denied any wrongdoing or liability.

The agreement includes the launch of a $13-million fund to reimburse Home Depot customers for any losses – including legal fees – incurred as a result of the hack, and the retailer will also pay for 18 months of cardholder protection services at a cost of at least $6.5 million.

Home Depot spokesperson Stephen Holmes told Reuters, “We wanted to put the litigation behind us, and this was the most expeditious path,” adding, “Customers were never responsible for any fraudulent charges.”

The security breach, which took place between April and September 2014, saw hackers steal payment card information belonging to around 40 million Home Depot shoppers, and also a database of up to 53 million customer email addresses.

Home Depot said at the time that that hackers had accessed its computer network through the use of a third-party vendor’s username and password, explaining: “The hackers then acquired elevated rights that allowed them to navigate portions of Home Depot’s network and to deploy unique, custom-built malware on [our] self-checkout systems in the U.S. and Canada.”

The hack occurred alongside other similar high-profile incidents, and came a few months after Target revealed cybercriminals had stolen personal data belonging to around 100 million of its own customers.

In May 2015, Target agreed to pay $10 million to shoppers affected by the breach, and later in the year settled with Visa in a deal worth $67 million to compensate banks and other firms that issue its cards. The payout took care of costs incurred by card issuers as a result of the hack, covering actions such as sending out new cards and dealing with any resulting fraud.


Quora hit by data breach affecting around 100 million users

Question-and-answer website Quora has revealed that hackers may have stolen data belonging to 100 million of its users. The recently discovered security breach is still being investigated, and Quora is contacting affected users.
Social Media

This band owns Twitter, according to list of top accounts and tweets for 2018

What was the biggest buzz on Twitter in 2018? Twitter's 2018 Year in Review highlights the biggest tweets, accounts, and hashtags. The most-tweeted celebrities, movies, TV shows, athletes, politicians and more in Twitter's 2018 trends.
Social Media

What do yodeling and Kylie Jenner have in common? YouTube’s top 2018 videos

In a true nod to the variety found on YouTube, the platform's top 10 list of videos from 2018 range from celebrities to sports, from perfectly tossing a picture frame on the wall to a kid yodeling in aisle 12 at Walmart.

Make a GIF of your favorite YouTube video with these great tools

Making a GIF from a YouTube video is easier today than ever, but choosing the right tool for the job isn't always so simple. In this guide, we'll teach you how to make a GIF from a YouTube video with our two favorite online tools.

How to change your Gmail password in just a few quick steps

Regularly updating your passwords is a good way to stay secure online, but each site and service has their own way of doing it. Here's a quick guide on how to change your Gmail password in a few short steps.

Tired of paying a monthly fee for Word? The best Microsoft Office alternatives

Looking for a competent word processor that isn't Microsoft Word? Thankfully, the best alternatives to Microsoft Office offer robust features, expansive compatibility, and an all-too-familiar aesthetic. Here are our favorites.

Google’s updated Santa Tracker entertains and teaches coding throughout December

Google's Santa Tracker is in its fifteenth year and is back again with even more features. You can have fun with more than 20 games, learn about different holiday traditions around the world, and enjoy some festive animations.

Worried about your online privacy? We tested the best VPN services

Browsing the web can be less secure than most users would hope. If that concerns you, a virtual private network — aka a VPN — is a decent solution. Check out a few of the best VPN services on the market.

Microsoft is ‘handing even more of online life’ to Google, Mozilla CEO says

Not everyone is happy with Microsoft's switch to Google's Chromium engine. In a new blog post, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard writes that he believes the move is "handing online life control" to Google.

Edit, sign, append, and save with six of the best PDF editors

There are plenty of PDF editors to be had online, and though the selection is robust, finding a solid solution with the tools you need can be tough. Here, we've rounded up best PDF editors, so you can edit no matter your budget or OS.

How to easily record your laptop screen with apps you already have

Learning how to record your computer screen shouldn't be a challenge. Lucky for you, our comprehensive guide lays out how to do so using a host of methods, including both free and premium utilities, in both MacOS and Windows 10.

From beautiful to downright weird, check out these great dual monitor wallpapers

Multitasking with two monitors doesn't necessarily mean you need to split your screens with two separate wallpapers. From beautiful to downright weird, here are our top sites for finding the best dual monitor wallpapers for you.

Google Translate updated to reduce gender bias in its translations

Google is changing how Google Translate offers translations. Previously when you entered a word like doctor, Translate would offer a masculine interpretation of the word. Now, Translate will offer both masculine and feminine versions.

Encryption-busting law passed in Australia may have global privacy implications

Controversial laws have been passed in Australia which oblige tech companies to allow the police to access encrypted messages, undermining the privacy of encryption with potentially global effects.