Hackers used malware to steal customer payment data from most of Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc’s restaurants over a span of three weeks, the company said on Friday, adding to woes at the chain whose sales had just started recovering from a string of food safety lapses in 2015.
Chipotle said it did not know how many payment cards or customers were affected by the breach that struck most of its roughly 2,250 restaurants for varying amounts of time between March 24 and April 18, spokesman Chris Arnold said via email.
A handful of Canadian restaurants were also hit in the breach, which the company first disclosed on April 25.
Stolen data included account numbers and internal verification codes. The malware has since been removed.
The information could be used to drain debit card-linked bank accounts, make “clone” credit cards, or to buy items on certain less-secure online sites, said Paul Stephens, director of policy and advocacy at the non-profit Privacy Rights Clearinghouse.