Jun 11, 2021 - World

Hackers steal data from McDonald’s in U.S., South Korea and Taiwan

An employee of a McDonald's in  Seoul, South Korea, in May 27.
An employee of a McDonald's in Seoul, South Korea, in May 27. Photo: Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

Hackers stole data, including customer emails, phone numbers and addresses, from McDonald’s computer systems in the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Why it matters: It's the latest cyber attack against a major U.S.-based corporation, with the news breaking a day after FBI Director Christopher Wray warned Congress that "the cyber threat is increasing almost exponentially."

  • Unlike other prominent attacks, the breach did not disrupt McDonald's operations and did not involve the use of ransomware malware to extort money from the fast-food giant.

Details: Private consultants hired by McDonald's to investigate recent unauthorized activity on an internal security system discovered that company data had been breached in certain markets, including the U.S., South Korea and Taiwan.

  • McDonald's told U.S. employees in a message Friday that business contact information for U.S. employees and franchisees, as well as details about restaurants — such as seating capacity and the square footage of play areas — had been disclosed through the breach, according to the Journal.
  • In South Korea and Taiwan, hackers stole customer and employee emails, phone numbers, and addresses, McDonald's said.
  • The company did not disclose how many people have been affected by the breach.

The big picture: McDonald's South Korea and Taiwan divisions notified regulators in those countries of the breach Friday, and said it would would contact customers and employees who had been affected.

  • The company will also notify employees in South Africa and Russia of possible unauthorized access to their information.
  • It warned U.S. employees and franchisees to be on the lookout for phishing emails and to protect their personal information.

Go deeper: Profit-driven cyberattacks are becoming frighteningly routine

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