Was Your Favorite Restaurant Hacked? The Earl Enterprises Data Breach
In late March of 2019, Earl Enterprises announced that it had been a victim of a data breach. During this breach, customer credit card information was stolen. This is yet another major breach impacting consumers everywhere.
Data breaches are nothing new. In fact, they are on the rise and cybercriminals seem to be going after larger and larger companies in order to obtain as much information as possible. Last year alone, 932 data breaches resulted in more than 47.2 million personal records being exposed.
So – how can you keep yourself safe?
Learn more about what a data breach is, which restaurants were impacted in the Earl Enterprises data breach, and what you can do if your data was breached.
What Is a Data Breach?
We talk about the term “data breach” more and more in today’s digital age. In fact, we have discussed in a previous blog some of the biggest data breaches in history.
A data breach occurs when a cybercriminal utilizes an unauthorized entry point into a business’ database that allows them to obtain user data such as passwords, credit card information, Social Security numbers, driver’s license numbers, medical records and much more. Cybercriminals will then use this information to commit fraud or identity theft.
During a data breach, cybercriminals will usually take the same steps to carry out the breach successfully. These steps are:
The cybercriminal will pick a business, company, or corporation to target. Once selected, they will do digging in order to figure out the company’s security weaknesses.
The cybercriminal makes initial contact in the form of a network or social attack.
- Network Attack: occurs when a cybercriminal uses an infrastructure, system, or application weakness to enter into their target’s network.
- Social Attack: occurs when a cybercriminal tricks or baits employees into giving them access to the company’s network.
Once the cybercriminal gains access to the network, they will attack the network and extract all
confidential company data stored on the network. This information is used by the cybercriminal forpersonal gain, whether that means selling it on the Dark Web or threatening the company to release the information unless they pay a large fee to the hacker.
Most of the time, these hackers are not using advanced hacking techniques to carry out these data breaches. Data breaches most frequently occur from site vulnerabilities that allow hackers easy access.
Some of the most common types of site vulnerabilities that lead to hacking are:
- Outdated Security Systems
- Weak Passwords
- Malware and Viruses
- Unsecure URLs
You now know more about what a data breach is and how they occur. Now, let’s talk about the Earl Enterprises Data Breach.
Which Restaurants Were Impacted?
According to a statement released by the company, the Earl Enterprises Data Breach was realized after they were made aware of a potential data breach incident. Through internal investigations and the help of cybersecurity firms, Earl Enterprises was able to confirm that a data breach did, in fact, take place.
This data breach took place over a span of 10 months. In this breach, more than 2 million guests at Earl Enterprises chains had their credit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names compromised.
The Earl Enterprises data breach occurred after cybercriminals installed malicious software onto point-of-sale systems at select locations of Earl Enterprises restaurants. Any guest who may have visited an Earl Enterprises restaurant location between May 23, 2018 – March 18, 2019 may have had their information stolen.
Of all of the restaurants under the Earl Enterprises brand, the restaurants that were potentially impacted are Buca di Beppo, Earl of Sandwich, Planet Hollywood, Chicken Guy!, Mixology and Tequila Taqueria.
What Should You Do Now?
If your personal information was compromised in a data breach, it is likely that you will get a written notification from your bank, or the company that was involved in the breach, informing you of the breach. Once they have confirmed that your information has been stolen, here are some steps you should take to keep yourself safe:
Change your password.
If you have an account with the business that has experienced a data breach, change your password immediately. It is likely that the cybercriminal was able to steal all login credentials, meaning your account is not unsecured.
Monitor your email.
Again, if your personal information was compromised, it is likely that your email has been stolen. If you receive a suspicious email from the company that was breached asking for personal information or for you to click a link, do not open the email and inform the company of the incident ASAP.
Obtain new debit/credit cards
If your debit or credit card number was stolen, call your card company to cancel the card. Request that a new card is sent to you. It would also be wise to change any pins you were using previously.
Place a fraud alert.
You should place a fraud alert on your account through one of the three major credit agencies. This alert is sent to all three agencies. It also notifies agency employees to be extra cautious with anyone trying to inquire about your account.
Sign up for Identity Theft protection
American Identity Group’s team of experts will constantly monitor your identity and alert you immediately if anything out of the ordinary is spotted. Sign up for a single plan or family plan protection package today!
Have you been to an Earl Enterprises location during the time of the data breach? If so, make sure you are taking the proper steps to recover your identity.
If you have any questions about identity theft, fraud, and keeping your information safe, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!