TECHNOLOGY

Tex-Mex restaurant chain targeted in cyber-attack

BY Deena M. Amato-McCoy

Chili’s is the newest victim of a data breach.

Tex-Mex restaurant chain Chili’s Grill & Bar, which is owned by Brinker International, was hit by cyber-thieves on Saturday, May 12. Hackers gained access to customer payment card information for customers who visited corporate-owned restaurants between March and April. Chili’s announced the data breach online and on social media the day after it was discovered.

According to Brinker International, malware was used to gather payment card information, including credit or debit card numbers and cardholder names, from Chili’s payment-related systems at certain restaurants. The company did not reveal how many customers were affected.

Upon learning about the incident, the company immediately activated a response plan, which included working with third-party forensic experts who conducted a thorough investigation. Law enforcement has been notified of this incident, and the company continues to fully cooperate, and assess the scope of the incident.

“We deeply value our relationships with our guests, and our priority remains doing what is right for them. We are committed to sharing additional information on this ongoing investigation,” Brinker International reported.

Chili’s operates more than 1,600 locations in 31 countries and two territories.

The Tex-Mex chain is the latest company to suffer a data breach. In April, Panera Bread, Best Buy, Sears Holdings, and stores across Hudson’s Bay Co.’s Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, and Lord & Taylor brands all announced they were targeted in cyber-attacks.

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