Over five million debit and credit cards information has been put up for sale after it’s been used at Sonic Drive-In.
A new data breach from US fast-food chain, Sonic Drive-In has put millions of customers’ debit and credit card information at risk. The security breach affected an unknown number of stores accepting debit and credit cards.
According to a security expert, Brian Krebs, all customers’ payment information has been put up for sale on the dark web market. Krebs reported this incident on 26 September 2017.
The attack was first noticed when several financial institutions noticed suspicious transactions that have previously been used at a Sonic Drive-In store.
The cards were put up for sale on 18 September on an underground market platform called Joker’s Stash. Around five million different cards were put up for sale, ranging between $25-$50. A large majority of the cards put up for sale were recently used at Sonic Drive-In stores.
The debit and credit cards that were stolen from Sonic, has been put under a system on Joker’s Stash called “Firetigerrr”. The information is then sorted according to city, state, and ZIP code. According to Krebs, this system is remarkably sophisticated as it allows buys to choose from cards that are close to their own location, therefore reducing raised suspicion, that an out-of-state location generally would.
Prices for all the cards in the Firetigerrr batch are higher than other cards. This is likely to be because the information is freshly stolen, and not likely to have been reported to a financial institution yet.
The price also varied depending on several factors, like the type of card (Amex, Visa, MasterCard), and the card tier-level (classic, standard, signature, platinum, etc). Debit or credit card status also played a role.
However, it is likely that the card information came from more sources than just Sonic, according to Krebs.
According to Sonic, they were notified by their credit card processor in the previous week of suspicious activity with credit cards used at their stores.
Sonic has confirmed that they are working hard to resolve the issues and make sure their customers’ information is kept safe at all times. They confirmed that they engaged a third-party team of forensic experts in order to help them understand the exact nature and scope of the attack, so they can employ better cybersecurity methods in the future.
It is still unknown how many customers were affected, or how many Sonic stores were infiltrated. Sonic Drive-In has over 3600 different stores in 45 different states across the United States.
Fast food chains have experienced an increase in hacker interest. Sonic is just another fast food chain to have suffered a data breach attack.
Popular Mexican fast food chain, Chipotle confirmed that it suffered a cyber attack in May earlier this year. This attack affected its payment system which affected customers across 48 states.
Shoney’s also confirmed their attack in April. Shoney’s suffered a point-of-sale malware attack which put guests’ financial information at risk for months. In February, Arby’s also suffered an attack, which affected their card payment systems across the country.
Wendy’s suffered an attack in 2016, where hundreds of its stores were targeted with malware on their payment systems.
According to Dan Berger, president and CEO of the National Association of Federally Insured Credit Unions, the latest attacks will put a large strain on financial institutions, as they are responsible for paying off fraud, reimburses the client’s checking account, reissues a new card, and repays all the costs incurred during the theft. He continued to say that these huge card data breaches will not end until there’s a regulatory body in place that holds retailers accountable.