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POS Malware hits at least 160 Applebee’s Restaurant Locations

A lot of retail companies, restaurants, and establishments have fallen victims to POS malware. Applebee’s is no exception to this. At least 160 of their POS systems have been compromised with malware which in turn exposed private information about credit card information from unsuspecting diners.

RMH Franchise Holdings, the company that owns and operates more than 160 stores in the US had stated that they have recently discovered the malware that infected their point of sale systems (POS).

This in turn might have given hackers sensitive information that might have already been stolen like certain guests’ names, credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates and card verification codes processed before the malware was detected.

The infection did not happen overnight and hit stores on different dates. Most POS systems got compromised first either November or December 2017 until January 2018 as per their website.

RMH further believed that unauthorized software got installed on the POS systems of certain Applebee’s restaurants and was specifically designed to capture payment information and purchases made at those infected locations.

They have launched an investigation with the help of leading cyber security and forensic firms and have already reported and elevated the matter to law enforcement agencies.

RMH has security measures in place and the incident had been contained by the time of its discovery last February 13, 2018.

RMH said it operates its point-of-sale systems isolated from the broader Applebee’s network, and this notice applies only to RMH-owned Applebee’s restaurants. The company did not respond to a question asking what type of POS device or malware was used in its Applebee’s stores targeted in the attack.

We always hear about POS malware infecting restaurants, fast food chains, retailers, hotels etc. It is a growing menace and costs a lot of money for banking and credit institutions, regular consumers and people who’s information got stolen, and used fraudulently. People end up paying for something they never bought or services never used.

These breaches will continue to happen. People are hungry for money and they will do anything because of greed. It is an industry-wide issue that a lot of retailers are facing. The manufacturers of POS systems are still trying to catch up updating their security as well as the inter-connectivity between the network from the POS device themselves.

Customers are advised to monitor their bank and credit card statements. Safeguards, security, scrutiny and diligence should come from the retailers themselves to protect themselves from POS malware.

Retailers, suppliers, chain restaurants not only need constant update from vendors to mitigate malicious access to their networks. They also need to closely monitor how other third parties like franchisees and divisions are managing their systems to avoid these risks.



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