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Home Depot investigates possible breach

Home Depot is working together with banks and police agencies to look into a potential breach of customer credit- or debit-card data.

The home-improvement retailer mentioned on Tuesday it’s investigating what it called unusual activity and said that if it confirms a breach occurred, it will immediately notify customers.

The company wouldn’t say more exactly what had been investigated, when the unusual activity was discovered or how many stores may have been affected.

“Protecting our customers’ information is something we take extremely seriously, and we are aggressively gathering facts at this point while working to protect customers,” said spokeswoman Paula Drake.

The news in which Home Depot was looking at a possible data breach was revealed earlier by security blogger Brian Krebs. Batches of recent stolen debit and credit cards appeared on a hacker website, and the breach might have extended across all of Home Depot’s U.S. stores and may even go back to late April or May, Krebs noted.

Retailers have been implementing new credit-card terminals at cash registers that take the new cards. Wal-Mart, which stated it had set up the terminals about eight years ago, have finally activated them in more than 4,600 stores.

Home Depot has been one of the most aggressive U.S. retailers to set up such equipment to lessen card fraud. It said it is currently in the process of activating the chip-reading technology on its terminals, which also can conduct transactions for cards which have a magnetic strip.

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