P.F. Chang's Announces Credit Card Data Stolen From 33 Restaurants

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This morning, P.F. Chang's CEO Rick Federico released a statement indicating that the U.S. Secret Service had alerted the company to a credit card security breach on June 10 involving data theft from as many as 33 of its North American locations, but that the company was safely processing cards again as early as June 11. This may be of interest to Denverites who have dined and used credit cards at the Lakewood P.F. Chang's, which the company says "may have been compromised."

But the revelation isn't exactly new information; news sources and electronic-security blogs have been including the incident in lists of the biggest credit-card data breaches of all time, while Info Security Magazine reported the theft of customer data the same day that P.F Chang's says they were initially informed.

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What does this mean for Denver P.F. Chang's customers? Along with today's statement, the restaurant chain's website also includes a list of locations and dates where data theft was detected; the Lakewood location, according to the list, was vulnerable between April 10 and June 11 of this year. The statement indicates that the "card number and in some cases also the cardholder's name and/or the card's expiration date" may have been stolen during that time period, but that they do not have information on any specific customers affected.

Although P.F. Chang's mentions that customers who may have been affected received individual emails (in cases where customers had previously supplied their email addresses), the statement from the CEO warns that credit card users should "remain vigilant...by reviewing account statements for any unusual activity, notifying their credit card companies, and monitoring their credit reports." This is sound advice for all electronic transactions, but may not be of much solace for customers who dined at the restaurant more than six months ago.

P.F. Chang's has set up an Incident Response hotline at 877-412-715. A call to the line did not indicate a specific reason for the newest press release, other than that the company is continuing to investigate the theft. Info Security Magazine's article indicates that the data may have gone up for sale in "the same underground cyber-crime store that sold the millions of (stolen) Target cards."

Complete information about the incident, including who to contact at P.F. Chang's if you feel your credit card data has been compromised, can be found on the company's website.

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