Home Depot: Hackers stole millions of email addresses

NEW YORK - Hackers who infiltrated Home Depot's computer network earlier this year didn't only steal customer payment data -- they also came away with 53 million email addresses, according to the company

The home repair retailer said the hackers accessed its network with a vendor's username and password.

The Atlanta-based home repair retailer in September disclosed a massive data breach that involved 56 million debit and credit cards between April and September. Home Depot says the stolen account information didn't contain passwords, payment card information or other sensitive personal information.

Still, "Customers should be on guard against phishing scams, which are designed to trick customers into providing personal information in response to phony emails," the company warned in a regulatory filing.

It is notifying affected customers in the U.S. and Canada.

Home Depot is one of several retailers that have reported large hacks over the past year. Target's pre-Christmas 2013 breach compromised 40 million credit and debit cards and hurt sales and profits. Michaels, SuperValu and Neiman Marcus have also reported breaches.

Banks around the U.S. report that the breaches have led to a surge in fraudulent transactions. One credit union in Colorado, the Air Academy Federal Credit Union, said in September that it had blocked about $20,000 in potentially fraudulent activity tied to debit cards compromised in the Home Depot breach.

The Home Depot breach, which lasted from April to September, is affecting the company's finances. The company's outlook for its fiscal 2014 year includes estimates for the cost to investigate the data breach, providing credit monitoring services to its customers, increasing call center staffing and pay for legal and professional services. The profit outlook doesn't include any potential losses related to the breach, however.

Home Depot is expected to announce third-quarter results on Nov. 18. On Thursday it confirmed its sales growth estimate for the year and said it still expects annual profit of $4.54 per share.

The company's stock rose 5 cents to $97.34 in extended trading Thursday. Shares have gained 18 percent in 2014.