Security Experts:

Half a Million Cards Exposed in Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen Breach

Over half a million payment card numbers were exposed after cybercriminals compromised the point-of-sale system of certain Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen restaurants, Darden Restaurants announced.

Previously known as Cheddar's Casual Café and based in Irving, Texas, Cheddar's Scratch Kitchen was founded in 1979 and had more than 163 locations in 23 states as of 2016. Darden acquired the concept in 2017.

In a notice published this week, Darden revealed that it learned of the data breach on August 16, 2018, from federal authorities. The compromised system, the company says, was a legacy point-of-sale system used in certain restaurant locations.

The incident might have impacted the payment card information of guests who visited the affected Cheddar's restaurants between Nov. 3, 2017 and Jan. 2, 2018. A total of 567,000 payment card numbers are believed to have been compromised.

The data breach impacted Cheddar's restaurants located in Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

The company says that it has engaged a third-party forensic cybersecurity firm to investigate the incident and that its current systems and networks were not impacted. The legacy system that was compromised has “was permanently disabled and replaced by April 10, 2018, as part of our integration process,” the company says.

Cheddar's isn’t the only restaurants chain to have a payment card breach this year. Malware at Chili’s restaurants collected customer card information in March and April, Brinker, which operates over 1,600 Chili’s and Maggiano’s restaurants, revealed in May.

In March, RMH Franchise Holdings revealed that over 160 Applebee’s restaurants were impacted by point-of-sale (PoS) malware that could collect names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and card verification codes.

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