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Possible Home Depot Data Breach Prompts Consumer Quandry In Rye

RYE, N.Y. – Hackers may have dealt their latest blow to consumers as Home Depot investigates a possible data breach at its 2,200 stores. But, some Sound Shore residents say the “game of technological cat and mouse” won’t change their payment patterns.

Julianne Smoak, who works at Angela’s in Rye, said she doesn’t plan to swear off plastic anytime soon.

“It’s kind of hard to avoid these days because people don’t really carry cash,” she said. “So, it’s kind of a catch 22, I guess… New advances means new problems and it’s not much you can do about it except be better than them.”

Home Depot CEO Frank Blake announced this week that the company is investigating the possible breach, but has not said outright that there was one. Krebs on Security, a website that covers cybersecurity, reported that a large number of credit and debit cards have been reported stolen and are now being sold on the black market.

Looking forward, Home Depot plans to install chip-enabled checkout terminals to further secure transactions. ABC News reported the plan is to have them in by the end of the year.

Rye resident Anthony Rende said that step may help for a while, until hackers get a step on that technology, too. While walking down Purchase Street Thursday, he said he was one of the victims of the massive Target breach last December.

“I didn’t get any money stolen, but they froze my account,” he said of the credit card company. “It’s crazy.”

Purchase resident Rolf Deppert is originally from Germany, where he said they use microchips in credit and debit cards to enhance security. The string of consumer data breaches, which include Target, P.F. Chang’s and even Good Will, has retailers, banks and car companies pushing for the microchip in the U.S., according to ABC News.

“There are ways around it to make it more difficult for hackers and one of them is the chip,” Deppert said.

He went on to say that he has little confidence that you can completely eradicate the problem of hackers.

“The only way out is to walk around with a pile of money,” he said. “You know what happens then? They rob you. You get the pick pockets and you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”

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