Some time ago, I did a story about the hacking of Target and data theft. Information related to about 40 million charge cards were compromised. Last month, Target said the break in cost a total of $148 million. Rumors that Home Depot might have been hacked too surfaced September 2. Home Depot launched an investigation. On September 8, the company confirmed it had been hacked. More details were released to the media on September 18. Home Depot said its system had been cleaned up, and preventative measures installed. The hacking took place from April to September of 2014. Information from 56 million credit cards was stolen. That’s more than when Target’s system was broken into. The same malware used in the Target attack was used in Home Depot’s attack. It’s been removed from the system. Home Depot CEO Frank Blake said he wanted customers to know if their information was used to charge other things, not to worry. Home Depot would cover it. The cost of the attack may reach $62 million, though that might go higher. The company may be reimbursed $27 million by its insurance carrier. It’s possible the debacle will scare shoppers away, reducing sales. The company said it had started implementing new defensive measures in January. It has gone ahead and completed this task. There is a new method for charge cards. The U.S. is behind the curve on it. Europe has already implemented it. It’s called the EMV chip and pin. There is a chip on the card, which changes the number every time it’s used. Any stolen data can’t be reused, preventing fraud. The U.S. retail industry recognizes the magnetic strip is not secure enough. The goal is to convert to chip and pin by the end of 2015. Home Depot declares it will convert by January 2015, a year ahead of schedule. I think that’s appropriate.