Security Experts:

Hundreds of Arby's Restaurants Hit by Card Breach

Arby’s Restaurant Group, one of the largest fast food sandwich restaurant chains in the United States, admitted this week that its payment processing systems had been breached by cybercriminals.

Arby’s told journalist Brian Krebs, who learned about the incident from sources in the financial industry, that it was alerted to the breach in mid-January by industry partners. The company said it had not disclosed the incident to the public at the FBI’s request.

The fast food chain said it immediately brought in Mandiant and other security experts to remove the malware from its systems and investigate the incident. The company is confident that the compromised systems have been cleaned up.

The investigation is ongoing, but the breach appears to have affected Arby’s corporate-owned restaurants and not franchised locations. Of Arby’s more than 3,300 stores in the U.S., over 1,000 are corporate restaurants, but not all of them are impacted.

It is unclear how many payment cards may have been stolen, but Krebs is aware of an alert from PSCU, a credit union service organization with over 800 members, which warned that more than 355,000 credit and debit cards issued by its members were compromised in a breach at a major fast food restaurant chain.

The PSCU alert estimated that the breach occurred between October 25, 2016 and January 19, 2017.

Arby’s is not the only major fast food restaurant chain targeted by cybercriminals. Wendy’s launched an investigation in January 2016 and initially determined that roughly 300 of its restaurants had been hit by a hacker attack that started in 2015.

Wendy’s later determined that the actual number of affected locations exceeded 1,000 and experts believe the incident affected hundreds of thousands of cards.

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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.