Unless you and Wilson just got rescued from some South Pacific island, you know about the Home Depot credit card hacking issue. About 56 million credit and debit card numbers were compromised in that incident. The company has nearly weathered that PR storm, coming out, for the most part, unscathed. But now the other shoe has dropped.
Mere weeks from clearing the rubble away from the hacking scandal, Home Depot has announced that more than 53 million customer email addresses were also compromised in that hack. While the company says the emails were in separate files that did not contain passwords or credit card information, the accounts are still in danger of being force-hacked by bots or used in other nefarious ways.
Worse, hackers could use the information to trick unsuspecting email users into revealing personal information because they recognize the sending email. While this might not sound like much of a risk to vigilant email users, the gambit doesn’t involve much risk on the part of the bad guys – and the sheer numbers involved could yield high reward.
But the worst possible news taken from this story is just how mundane and scripted it is becoming. Let’s see if you’ve heard this one before: Large company gets hacked, but “it’s not too bad. Then, “well, it’s worse than we thought.” Weeks pass. “Much worse, really.” More time passes. “And they got all this other stuff too.”
Given the myriad daily attacks on American-based retailers, it should not really be surprising when someone gets compromised. But American consumers should never allow this scenario to become commonplace in their minds. It’s that very nonchalance about mobile and digital security that exacerbates the issue in the first place. You may want to weigh the risk next time someone asks you to sign up for their “rewards” program.