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Data breach

Earl Enterprises restaurants fall victim to massive data breach.


On March 29, 2019, Earl Enterprises, the parent company of restaurants Buca di Beppo, Planet Hollywood, Earl of Sandwich, and others, reported that payment card details of users who dined at some of its outlets were stolen. Hackers planted malware in its point-of-sale systems to harvest payment card data. The stolen data includes personal and financial information such as credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates and, in some cases, cardholder names.

The incident.

The security breach affected customers who used their credit or debit cards at any of the six impacted restaurants—Buca di Beppo, Earl of Sandwich, Planet Hollywood, Chicken Guy!, Mixology, and Tequila Taqueria—between May 23, 2018 and March 19, 2019. Customers who paid online for orders through third-party applications were not affected by this incident.

Earl Enterprises released a data breach notice on their website which also provided a way for customers to check if they ate at an affected restaurant.

What did they do?

According to a report in KrebsOnSecurity, investigative journalist Brian Krebs discovered evidence in February that payment card numbers that were stolen from Earl Enterprises were being sold on the dark web. The team immediately notified Earl Enterprises. The restaurant chain hired two cybersecurity firms to conduct a thorough investigation. They are also planning to monitor their systems closely and take additional security measures to prevent similar incidents in the future. Earl Enterprises has notified law enforcement and advised affected customers to remain watchful and inspect their card statements for any suspicious activity.

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