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Bad news for Home depot: According to media reports, home improvement store ignored security warnings from its own computer experts for the past six years which led to the theft of 56 million credit card users’ data.
Cybersecurity employees on condition of anonymity said that multiple serious warnings about the company’s lack of computer security went unheeded for years.
They conceded of not feeling surprised the company had been hacked. The employees said that over the years, when they sought new software and training, managers didn’t give a feedback.
A mix of outdated security software, infrequent and incomplete network scans, and a lack of concern from the company’s leaders led to the massive leak, said the employees.
Some members of its security team left as managers dismissed their concerns. Others wondered how Home Depot met industry standards for protecting customer data.
After the Target credit card hack leaked 40 million credit and debit card users’ info, Home Depot assembled a team to beef up the company’s cybersecurity.
In April, Home Depot began utilizing data-scrambling encryption at its point-of-sale equipment.
But they were already behind time as criminals were already deep in Home Depot’s systems.
By the time the company learned on Sept. 2 from banks and law enforcement that it had been breached, hackers had been stealing millions of customers’ card information, unnoticed for months.
The man in charge of Home Depot’s in-store security, Ricky Joe Mitchell, isn’t even at his post right now: He was sentenced to four years in federal prison this April, after disabling the computer system of the last company that fired him.