Report: Secret Service Now Investigating Home Depot Breach

Nothing scares big-box shoppers and retailers quite like the specter of another nationwide credit-card data breach. Home improvement chain Home Depot has announced that it is investigating a possible data breach of the payment systems in its 2,200 stores, and the blog Krebs on Security analyzed data found in a shady corner of the Internet to show that this is likely what happened. Now Reuters reports that the Secret Service is involved in the matter.

While most people associate the Secret Service with the protection of the President, the Vice-President, and their families, that wasn’t their original mission. Secret Service agents’ first job was investigating counterfeit currency. The agency began in 1865, a time when the whole “national paper currency” thing was a new concept, and counterfeiting very common. This eventually expanded to investigating all kinds of financial crimes, including Treasury securities, and now credit cards and other modern ways that we move money around.

A law enforcement source told the wire service Reuters that Home Depot has now contacted the Secret Service, and is also working with private security firms to determine whether there has been a breach at all.

Home Depot has issued the standard promise of identity theft protection services to affected customers, even though that’s pretty useless if what the baddies have is your credit card number.

Home Depot in contact with Secret Service over alleged breach: source [Reuters]