The financial nightmare of millions of customers recently became true when the sensitive details of more than 3 million credit cards were exposed online by hackers.
Dickey’s Barbecue Pit, the country’s largest barbecue chain, was hit by hackers that ended up stealing valuable data from the company’s vulnerable systems and selling everything online.
Gemini Advisory, a cybersecurity firm, discovered the breach when inspecting a hacker forum known as Joker’s Stash. In the forum, a hacker posted the stolen credit cards on October 12. According to the findings, the successful cyberattack was carried out directly on the restaurant chain’s POS system and customers that visited its locations and paid with credit card between July 2019 and August 2020 are most likely at risk.
The firm’s research concluded that 156 of 469 locations were affected by the attack and that the criminal party is currently selling each credit card for $17.
Next Steps for Affected Customers
Let’s begin by advising what affected customers should do in a scenario like this.
All customers who acknowledge that they may be included in the breach should immediately contact their banks and/or card issuers to report the compromise and, potentially, request a new card.
At the same time, customers must review their card balances to make sure no suspicious charges have been made. In case of finding a charge, it’s strongly recommended to lose no time and get in contact with the bank to try to recover the money.
After taking care of this, it is recommended to review potential solutions to prevent similar problems in the future. Mobile payment methods, such as Samsung Pay and Apple Pay already are strong options that provide customers with encrypted protection, meaning that debit and credit card numbers are never shared when paying through a POS.
What Does This Mean for the Industry?
This event represents a huge blow to restaurants and, more generally, the service industry. The fact that a chain with almost 500 locations is vulnerable enough to lose highly sensitive data from more than 3 million customers creates serious doubts in the public.
In today’s world, especially after considering the current state of affairs in cybersecurity, the private sector, more particularly the B2C segment, must invest in whatever available technology necessary to keep threats at bay.
Restaurants, especially major chains with millions of customers, must have state-of-the-art technologies in place to protect sensitive information such as credit card numbers. But a strong security approach begins at the very end of the process. Gemini Advisory’s report indicates that the cyberattack was conducted through Point-of-Sales, which raises many questions regarding the chain’s cybersecurity standards and practices. All entry points must be secured, especially when massively working with the public.
There is more yet to know about this case but Dickey’s Barbecue Pit has already plenty to teach other businesses.
Strong cybersecurity platforms, such as Julie Security, and safer customer-focused practices, such as encrypted mobile payment solutions, are quickly becoming the best bet to counter the risks posed by malicious agents.