Security Experts:

Buca di Beppo, Planet Hollywood Restaurants Hit by Card Breach

Earl Enterprises on Friday admitted that cybercriminals had stolen payment card data from tens of the restaurants it owns over a period of 10 months.

An investigation has revealed that the incident impacts Buca di Beppo, Earl of Sandwich, Planet Hollywood, Chicken Guy!, Mixology and Tequila Taqueria restaurants -- these brands are all owned by Earl Enterprises. All Buca di Beppo locations across the United States appear to be affected by the breach, along with several locations belonging to the other brands.

According to Earl Enterprises, the hackers planted a piece of malware designed to capture credit and debit card information on point-of-sale (PoS) systems. The malware involved in this attack captured card numbers, expiration dates and, in some cases, cardholder names.

Individuals who used their payment cards at impacted locations between May 23, 2018 and March 18, 2019, may be affected. Customers can use an online tool provided by Earl Enterprises to see if the restaurants they visited are impacted.

The company said Bertucci’s, Seaside on the Pier and Café Hollywood brands were not affected, and neither were Planet Hollywood hotels or stores. It also claimed that the incident did not impact locations outside of the United States or online orders.

In a statement posted on its website, the company said the incident impacted a “limited number of guests.”

However, security blogger Brian Krebs reported that, on February 20, a dark web marketplace named Joker’s Stash, which specializes in selling credit card data, had offered to sell roughly 2.15 million stolen cards that appeared to originate from restaurants owned by Earl Enterprises.

Krebs notified the company shortly after determining that the data likely came from its systems. It appears that Krebs’ notification triggered Earl Enterprises’ investigation, which involved two cybersecurity firms. Federal law enforcement has also been made aware of the breach.

The list of major restaurant chains that have disclosed payment card breaches in the past year also includes Huddle HouseChili’sApplebee's, and Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.

Related: Payment Card Breach Hits Over 260 Caribou Coffee Stores

Related:Best Buy Impacted by Payment Card Breach

Related: BevMo Warns of Customer Credit Card Data Breach

Related:Chipotle Investigating Payment Card Breach

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.