Home Depot blames Windows for record hack, rushes out to buy Macs and iPhones afterward
Chris SmithNovember 10, 2014
Home Depot has confirmed in recent months that it too has been the victim of a complex malware attack, with hackers reportedly stealing more than 56 million credit cards and over 53 million emails in a record cyber heist. The Wall Street Journal has learned more details about the attack, revealing that hackers used a Windows machine as a point of entry, from which they were able to spread the malware and collect customer data. Interestingly, one of the first moves Home Depot made after learning about the attack was to purchase new, secure, MacBooks and iPhones for execs.
On September 2nd, the Secret Service told Home Depot that hackers were already selling credit card numbers on the black market, which were traced back to Home Depot.
The company managed to buy some of those credit cards and started its investigation, discovering a few days later that malware had been deleted from a store computer. At that point, unsure about what information had been compromised, Home Depot “bought two dozen new, secure iPhones and MacBooks for senior executives, who referred to their new devices as ‘Bat phones.’”
It’s not clear what vulnerability in Windows the hackers exploited, but Microsoft patched it after the breach began. However, that was too late to stop the Home Depot hackers, who “were able to move throughout Home Depot’s systems and over to the company’s point-of-sale systems as if they were Home Depot employees with high-level permissions,” after using the vulnerability to move from “a peripheral third-party vendor system and the company’s more secure main computer network.”