Security Experts:

Chili's Restaurants Hit by Payment Card Breach

People who recently paid with their credit or debit card at a Chili’s restaurant may have had their information stolen by cybercriminals, according to Dallas-based Brinker International.

Brinker, which operates more than 1,600 Chili’s and Maggiano’s restaurants across 31 countries, issued a notice shortly after the data breach was discovered on May 11.

While the investigation is ongoing, initial evidence suggests that a piece of malware collected payment card data from some Chili’s restaurants in March and April 2018. The malware apparently harvested credit and debit card numbers as well as cardholder names from payment systems used for in-restaurant purchases.

Brinker noted that it does not collect social security numbers, dates of birth or other personal information.

“We immediately activated our response plan upon learning of this incident,” the company stated. “We are working with third-party forensic experts to conduct an investigation to determine the details of what happened.”

Brinker believes the incident has been contained, but advised customers to keep an eye on their bank and credit card statements for any suspicious activity.The company has set up a web page where it will provide updates on this incident.

Chili’s is not the only major restaurant chain to disclose a payment card breach this year. RMH Franchise Holdings revealed in March that malware had been found on point-of-sale (PoS) systems at over 160 Applebee’s restaurants it operates as a franchise.

Several major restaurant chains disclosed payment card breaches last year, including Arby’sChipotleSonic Drive-In, and Shoney’sAmazon's Whole Foods Marketalso informed customers that taprooms and full table-service restaurants at nearly 100 locations were hit by a breach.

Related: Hackers Steal 17 Million Users' Data From Indian Restaurant App Zomato

Related: Payment Cards Stolen in Pizza Hut Website Hack

Related: Data Breach Hits 140 Cicis Restaurants

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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.