Home Depot Crisis Comms Plan: Blame Microsoft

Home Depot

On Friday we told you that Home Depot was in need of some serious reputation cleanup in aisle 1 after a second story concerning digital privacy breaches went public: hackers stole approximately 53 million shoppers’ email addresses by targeting self-checkout lanes.

Now it seems the company has developed a strategy to follow its ho-hum “we’re sorry” statement: blame Windows.

9t05Mac dove into an earlier Wall Street Journal report on the event to find this tidbit:

“…the hackers were able to jump the barriers between a peripheral third-party vendor system and the company’s more secure main computer network by exploiting a vulnerability in Microsoft Corp.’s Windows operating system, the people briefed on the investigation said.”

This report comes at a particularly bad time for Microsoft.

Several reports like this one from Fast Company tell us that new CEO Satya Nadella is positioning Microsoft and its products as a way to “make productivity sexy, inspiring, and futuristic.”

But, while Microsoft apparently acted to patch the Home Depot leak, that didn’t stop an IT employee from “allegedly purchas[ing] two dozen new MacBooks and iPhones for senior executives” as soon as the disaster hit.

Hmm.

This news comes after a couple of recent embarrassments for the company: after the NFL adopted the Surface as its official tablet, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler allegedly called the products “knockoff iPads.” And during Tuesday’s midterm election coverage, several viewers caught CNN employees using their Surface tablets…to hide the iPads they were using. We call that “pulling an Alicia Keys.”

Microsoft has yet to respond to Home Depot’s accusations.