1a. Areas in which the organization is doing well

1a. Areas in which the organization is doing well
1b. Areas for improvement specific to information risk


On September 8th, 2014, Home Depot released a statement indicating that its
payment card systems were breached. They explained that the investigation started on
September 2nd and they were still trying to discover the actual scope and impact of the
breach. Home Depot explained that they would be offering free credit services to affected
customers who used their payment card as early as April of 2014 and apologized for the
data breach. They also indicated that their Incident Response Team was following its
Incident Response plan to contain and eradicate the damage and was working with
security firms for the investigation (“The Home Depot, Inc. – News Release,” 2014). This
is one of many retail breaches that have occurred and will continue to occur, until
retailers become proactive in safeguarding their environments.

Home Depot was one of the many victims to a retail data breach in 2014. The
unfortunate thing is the way the attacker’s infiltrated the POS networks and how the
attackers were able to steal the payment card data, were the same methods used in the
Target data breach. The attackers were able to gain access to one of Home Depot’s
vendor environments by using a third-party vendor’s logon credentials. Then they
exploited a zero-day vulnerability in Windows, which allowed them to pivot from the
vendor-specific environment to the Home Depot corporate environment.
Once they were in the Home Depot network, they were able install memory scraping
malware on over 7,500 self-checkout POS terminals (Smith, 2014). This malware was
able to grab 56 million credit and debit cards. The malware was also able to capture 53
million email addresses (Winter, 2014). The stolen payment cards were used to put up for
sale and bought by carders. The stolen email addresses were helpful in putting together
large phishing campaigns.

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