McDonald's Hit by Data Breach -- 2nd Update
By Heather Haddon
McDonald's Corp. said hackers stole some data from its systems
in markets including the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan, in another
example of cybercriminals infiltrating high-profile global
The burger chain said Friday that it recently hired external
consultants to investigate unauthorized activity on an internal
security system, prompted by a specific incident in which the
unauthorized access was cut off a week after it was identified,
McDonald's said. The investigators discovered that company data had
been breached in markets including the U.S., South Korea and
Taiwan, the company said.
In a message to U.S. employees, McDonald's said the breach
disclosed some business contact information for U.S. employees and
franchisees, along with some information about restaurants such as
seating capacity and the square footage of play areas. The company
said no customer data was breached in the U.S., and that the
employee data exposed wasn't sensitive or personal. The company
advised employees and franchisees to watch for phishing emails and
to use discretion when asked for information.
McDonald's said attackers stole customer emails, phone numbers
and addresses for delivery customers in South Korea and Taiwan. In
Taiwan, hackers also stole employee information including names and
contact information, McDonald's said. The company said the number
of files exposed was small without disclosing the number of people
affected. The breach didn't include customer payment information,
McDonald's said that its divisions in South Korea and Taiwan
notified regulators in Asia of the breach Friday, and that they
would contact customers and employees. The company said its
divisions would also notify some employees in South Africa and
Russia of possible unauthorized access to their information. The
investigation had flagged those countries as well.
McDonald's said that business at its restaurants wasn't
disrupted by the breach and that it didn't involve a ransomware
attack, in which hackers demand payment to return control of data
and operations to companies. McDonald's said it wasn't asked for
ransom, nor did it make any payment to the hackers.
Prominent ransomware attacks in recent months have disrupted
operations at institutions and companies deeply embedded in U.S.
civic and commercial life, including hospitals, transport systems,
pipelines and meat companies. Some companies including Colonial
Pipeline Co. and the U.S. operations of meat company JBS SA have
said they paid hackers to regain full control of their data and
Elsewhere Friday, Volkswagen AG's U.S. unit said an unauthorized
third party obtained limited personal information about customers
and interested buyers from a vendor used by its Audi and Volkswagen
brands as well as some U.S. and Canadian dealers for digital sales
and marketing. Around three million customers were affected.
McDonald's said that it has increased investment in
cybersecurity defenses in recent years, and that those tools helped
it respond to the recent attack. The company said it cut off
hackers' access to data soon after the breach was identified.
"McDonald's will leverage the findings from the investigation as
well as input from security resources to identify ways to further
enhance our existing security measures," the company said.
--William Boston contributed to this article.
Write to Heather Haddon at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
June 11, 2021 15:56 ET (19:56 GMT)
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