Fast food restaurant chain Wendy’s revealed on Thursday that the number of restaurants believed to have been compromised with point-of-sale (PoS) malware is now over 1,000–a figure three times larger than the initial number announced by the company in May.
In January, Wendy’s launched an investigation after banks began to notice fraudulent activity on cards used in its restaurants. In February, the company discovered that malware was used to steal customer credit card data, and it announced in May that hackers managed to compromise 300 of its franchised restaurants in North America.
Last month, the company announced that it discovered evidence that more of its locations had been compromised, but didn’t offer a specific number. Yesterday, however, they decided to finally break silence and said that 1,025 locations are believed to have been hit. Wendy’s also decided to reveal that the malware targeted payment card data such as: cardholder name, credit or debit card number, expiration date, cardholder verification value, and service code.
However, the investigation into this incident hasn’t been concluded as of now. “Wendy’s has worked aggressively with third-party forensic experts and federal law enforcement on this investigation, which is ongoing,” the company notes in a newly published FAQ.
The company also says that the cyber-attack “resulted from service providers’ remote access credentials being compromised, allowing access – and the ability to deploy malware – to some franchisees’ point-of-sale systems.”
Wendy’s did not respond to an inquiry on the name/variant of PoS malware used in the attacks.
Although the malware was discovered in February, the company’s systems were compromised sometime last year, meaning that the attackers were able to steal plenty of credit card data before being discovered. The investigation into this incident revealed a remote access tool (RAT) installed on PoS systems, but Wendy’s says that the malware has been disabled on all of the systems where it has been discovered.
Customers who believe they might have been impacted by the breach can verify that by checking whether the Wendy’s restaurant they visited was infected or not. For that, the company has published a list of potentially affected restaurants, along with the relevant timeframes of risk for each location.
Other companies have experienced similar data breaches recently that resulted in customer credit card data being compromised, including restaurant chain Noodles & Company, which has roughly 500 restaurants in 35 states across the United States. Last month, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas revealed that card scraping malware was found on its payment card systems.
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