Chili's restaurant chain suffers data breach

Customers are being warned that payment card information was likely involved in the data breach.
Written by Charlie Osborne, Contributing Writer
File Photo

The Chili's restaurant chain has been involved in a data breach which may have exposed customer credit card information.

Dallas, Texas-based Brinker International -- which operates over 1,600 Chili's outlets worldwide -- said that some of the chain's restaurants have been involved in the incident, which is believed to have taken place between March and April this year.

In a statement, the company said that the data breach was first discovered on 11 May and "may have resulted in unauthorized access or acquisition of [customer] payment card data."

It is not known how many customers have been involved.

According to Chili's, malware was used to scrape credit and debit card numbers alongside cardholder names from point-of-sale (PoS) systems used for in-restaurant purchases.

No other information is believed to have been involved in the theft.

"We immediately activated our response plan upon learning of this incident," Chili's said.

The company added that it has "no reason to believe" there is any risk for customers to use their payment cards in-restaurant now the incident has been contained.

As it has only been a few days since the data breach was uncovered, Chili's is not yet sure just how long consumer data has been scraped and stolen. However, the company is working with an external cyberforensics firm to ascertain the extent of the breach and has promised to update customers when more is known.

US law enforcement has been notified.

"We sincerely apologize to those who may have been affected and assure you we are working diligently to resolve this incident," Chili's said.

See also: SynAck ransomware circumvents antivirus software through Doppelgänging technique

Customers are asked to keep an eye on their credit reports and notify the correct agencies if they notice any suspicious activity.

In related news, last week the source code of TreasureHunter PoS malware was leaked online. The release, which includes an operator platform, could result in a new wave of malware hitting restaurants, hotels, and the retail sector.

10 steps to erase your digital footprint

Previous and related coverage

Editorial standards