US fast-food chain Wendy’s recently announced that it has reached a settlement with the thousands of banks and credit unions whose payment cards were compromised as a result of the data breach the company suffered in 2015 and 2016.
The breach was discovered in January 2016 after payment providers noticed fraud patterns on some cards used at its restaurants. It was originally believed that around 300 locations had been affected, but further investigation into the incident revealed the number of restaurants impacted exceeded 1,000 locations. The breach is said to have impacted 18 million cards issued by over 7,500 credit unions and banks.
The criminal behind the attack targeted independently owned and operated franchise restaurants using a piece of malware designed to steal payment card data, including names, card numbers, expiration dates, and CVVs.
Wendy’s was met with lawsuits by customers and financial institutions following the reveal of the breach. A $3.4 million settlement was reached with customers last year, making each impacted individual eligible for up to $5,000 in compensation. The company announced last week it also reached a settlement with the financial institutions impacted, but the settlement must still be approved by the courts.
The company has agreed to pay $50 million to settle the lawsuit with the financial institutions, but it expects to pay only $27.5 million of that amount as the rest will more than likely be covered by insurance. If approved by the court, the payments will likely be made later in the year.
It should come as no surprise to any organization handling payment card data that you must adhere to the Payment Card Industry–Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This standard calls for a broad range of security measures, including Device Hardening, Event Log Management, Change & Configuration Management, and File Integrity Monitoring.
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