Security Experts:

Church's Chicken Restaurants Hit by Payment Card Breach

At least 160 Church’s Chicken restaurants across 11 U.S. states are impacted by a data breach that involved unauthorized access to payment processing systems.

Cajun Operating Company, which owns and operates Church's Chicken, revealed last week that it had become aware of unauthorized access to payment processing systems in late October.

Atlanta-based Church's Chicken is a quick service restaurant chain that has over 1,500 locations across 23 countries. There are nearly 1,000 locations across 29 states in the U.S., but a majority are franchised rather than company-operated.

The company claims the recent data breach has only impacted the restaurants it operates itself — no franchised locations appears to have been hit — and customers who made orders through delivery apps such as Uber Eats and DoorDash are not affected.

Church's Chicken has launched an investigation into the incident and it has so far determined that the payment processing systems used by roughly 160 of its restaurants are impacted. However, tens of new locations have been added in the past few days so the number might increase until the investigation is completed.

Affected restaurants are located across 11 states, including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas.

“The Church’s system uses multiple payment processing systems and, as a result, not all Church’s restaurants – and none of our franchised locations – are believed to be impacted by this incident,” the company stated.

The restaurant chain is currently working on determining for exactly how long each restaurant had been impacted.

The attackers may have stolen payment card numbers, cardholder names, and expiration dates. The company has notified payment card networks and credit monitoring agencies, and it has advised customers to keep a close eye on their card statements for any suspicious purchases.

Several major restaurant companies informed customers of payment card breaches in the past year, including KrystalFocus Brands (Moe’s, McAlister’s and Schlotzsky’s), Checkers Drive-In RestaurantsEarl EnterprisesHuddle House, Chili’sApplebee's, and Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen.

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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.