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Noodles And Company Latest To Suffer Security Breach

The restaurant chain Noodles and Company says guests who dined at the restaurant between January 31, 2016 and June 2, 2016 may have had credit or debit card information stolen.


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If you've eaten at one of the three Noodles & Company restaurants in greater Houston (The Woodlands, Webster, and the Galleria), review your credit card statements. The Colorado-based company recently reported a data security breach.

According to a Noodles & Company press release, thieves used malware to attack their computer network, possibly stealing customer's personal information. The company has apologized to guests, and is working with forensic investigators in law enforcement.

According to the website, over 900-million records have been stolen since 2005. Recent studies indicate the average cost to a business that has been hacked is over $7 million.

Will Daugherty is an attorney with Baker-Hostetler. He works on the firms' Data Protection Team. Daugherty says social media has become a popular way to enter a company's network.

"LinkedIn and Facebook are a treasure-trove. So if an attacker wants to get into Company A, they'll go on LinkedIn and try to identify some employees who are hopefully in either the IT department or in the accounting department [and who] would most likely have the privileges to move around in the network." say Daugherty.

Once the hackers are in, they search for customer information and then distribute malware that captures data every time an individual swipes their card.

Encryption is the best protection. Stephanie Erickson is Vice President of Risk Products at Visa. She says right now the most effective encryption defense is EMV or chip cards.

"So in the event of a data breach if there's chip transaction data that the criminal steals, they can't do anything with it. They can't make counterfeit cards. They can't do any counterfeit fraud," Erickson says.

Noodles & Company joins Wendy's, Landry's Restaurants and Medical Colleagues of Texas among other businesses in greater Houston whose customer information has been stolen this year.

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