In August, we reported on a possible Dairy Queen data breach, which the company has only recently officially confirmed.
Dairy Queen announced late last week that the "Backoff" malware that has been plaguing retailers and consumers alike was installed on point of sale systems in 395 U.S. store locations. Law enforcement officials apparently discovered the breach after multiple banks reported fraudulent card use seeming to lead back to the ice cream empire.
Dairy Queen confirmed that the same third-party point of sale vendor was in operation at all of the affected locations, but did not identify the company in question. However, independent security expert Brian Krebs reports that the hacked vendor is, in fact, Panasonic Retail Information Systems.
Panasonic later issued a public statement expressing general support of Dairy Queen as a company, but neither expressly confirming nor denying its role in the breach.
This latest incident matches the pattern of data breaches that have recently been cropping up across the country. Hackers appear to be targeting large chains that utilize franchisees, making them vulnerable to remote access by cybercriminals who enter the system through employees with weak usernames and passwords.
Dairy Queen has stated that "based on our investigation, we are confident that this malware has been contained." However, this does not negate the fact that customer name, credit card numbers and expiration dates were stolen. If you made a purchase with a credit or debit card at Dairy Queen during August or September you could be at risk.
If you are a victim of this breach, here's what you can do to help protect yourself from identity theft:
- Call your bank and let them know you're a victim of this breach. Ask them to cancel your credit card and issue you a new one with a new account number.
- Actively monitor your bank statements and be sure to go back and check old statements for any transactions you didn't authorize. If you find any activity that may indicate credit fraud, be sure to report it right away.
- Review your credit report. Remember that everyone in the United States is entitled to one free credit report a year from the three major credit bureaus – TransUnion, Experian and Equifax. It’s also highly advisable that you invest in a credit monitoring service to provide you further security.