The payment card information belonging to over half a million Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen customers has been compromised after an unauthorized intrusion was spotted by a third party.

Parent company Darden Restaurants was notified by federal authorities, claiming an attacker swiped 567,000 payment card numbers after compromising a legacy POS system. Customers who visited Cheddars in 23 states between November 3, 2017, and January 2, 2018, could have had their payment information compromised.

The states involved in this breach include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

Darden claims that once notified of the incident, the company activated its response plan and is now working with third-party forensic experts to investigate further. The intrusion occurred on a legacy POS system that’s been disabled and replaced since April 10, 2018. That POS machine was a part of Cheddars before Darden bought the restaurant company in April 2017. The company has since updated the equipment and systems as it integrates Cheddars into the rest of Darden.

Victims of the breach are able to access identity protection services from ID Experts at no charge. The website for that service can be found here.

POS systems represent one of the biggest weak spots for restaurants, but there’s a lot that can be done to protect them. POS systems need to be hardened and vulnerability free, continuously updated and monitored using solutions like File Integrity Monitoring to spot any suspicious activity that could represent a breach. Following these steps will also help you satisfy Requirement 11: 11.1, 11.4, and 11.5 of the PCI DSS Version 3.2 compliance standard.  

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