UPDATED 21:52 EST / FEBRUARY 04 2019

26247446173_449ef9fe48_z SECURITY

Restaurant chain Huddle House hacked in point-of-sale attack

Huddle House Inc., a restaurant chain with more than 300 locations across the U.S. Southeast, has advised that customer data has been stolen in a point-of-sale attack.

The hack, first detected by a credit card provider Jan. 3 but believed to date back to August 2017, involved malware installed in POS terminals.

“Criminals compromised a third-party POS vendor’s data system and utilized the vendor’s assistance tools to gain remote access — and the ability to deploy malware — to some Huddle House corporate and franchisee POS systems,” Huddle House said in an advisory Friday to customers.

The company didn’t specify how many locations may have been affected or the extent of the data breach, but it said that “if you used a payment card at a Huddle House location between Aug. 1, 2017 and present, your payment card information may be at risk.” Customers are being advised to review their account statements and monitor credit reports for suspicious activity.

Stephen Moore, chief security strategist at Exabeam Inc., told SiliconANGLE that the breach went undetected much longer than it should have.

“Frequently, an intrusion is detected by a notable change, such as a rapid increase in network traffic, a suspicious system login location or time, or the unusual export of sensitive information,” he explained. “But not all attacks have an obvious pattern. Often adversaries who have gained access to a network are conducting a ‘low and slow’ attack. This is where they carefully and methodically move laterally across devices and users so as not to attract attention — doing reconnaissance and strategizing on how best to exfiltrate data.”

Moore said there are ways to detect attacks such as this.

“Machine learning security approaches can make it fast and easy to find anomalous and suspicious user and device behavior,” Moore noted. “Its algorithms can baseline normal behavior in your network environment, then alert your security team whenever anomalous activity occurs. With the increasing sophistication and worsening impacts of mega data breaches, now is the time for organizations to implement smarter security management solutions.”

POS attacks targeting retail businesses and restaurants are fairly common. Previous examples include Forever21 Inc., Whole Foods MarketChipotle Mexican Grill Inc.Wendy’s Co. and Sonic Corp.

Photo: bluemaumau/Flickr

Since you’re here …

Show your support for our mission with our one-click subscription to our YouTube channel (below). The more subscribers we have, the more YouTube will suggest relevant enterprise and emerging technology content to you. Thanks!

Support our mission:    >>>>>>  SUBSCRIBE NOW >>>>>>  to our YouTube channel.

… We’d also like to tell you about our mission and how you can help us fulfill it. SiliconANGLE Media Inc.’s business model is based on the intrinsic value of the content, not advertising. Unlike many online publications, we don’t have a paywall or run banner advertising, because we want to keep our journalism open, without influence or the need to chase traffic.The journalism, reporting and commentary on SiliconANGLE — along with live, unscripted video from our Silicon Valley studio and globe-trotting video teams at theCUBE — take a lot of hard work, time and money. Keeping the quality high requires the support of sponsors who are aligned with our vision of ad-free journalism content.

If you like the reporting, video interviews and other ad-free content here, please take a moment to check out a sample of the video content supported by our sponsors, tweet your support, and keep coming back to SiliconANGLE.