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P.F. Chang's Goes Manual After Card Breach

Restaurant chain P.F. Chang's China Bistro confirms it suffered a data breach that compromised credit and debt card numbers used by an unknown number of patrons. While the breach continues to be investigated, P.F. Chang’s has announced that they will use a manual imprinting system to process credit cards.

Some experts see a connection to last December’s Target breach:

But several security experts and cyber-intelligence researchers say they believe the chain suffered a malware attack similar to those that compromised the point-of-sale networks of U.S. retailers Target Corp., Neiman Marcus and Sally Beauty Holdings Corp.. Other experts, however, say it's too soon to tell what the cause of the latest breach was, and whether it was linked to any previous breaches.

But while the experts disagree about the details of this latest alleged breach, they agree it's time for retailers to tighten network security.

"It's really got the retail industry up in arms," says financial fraud expert
Avivah Litan, an analyst at the consultancy Gartner. "CISOs are scared of getting fired, they are afraid of the consumer reaction and they're just trying to get handle on all of this."


UPDATE (6/18/2014): Brian Krebs provides new information indicating that the breach at the nationwide restaurant chain began on or around Sept. 18, 2013, and didn’t end until June 11. If true, the breach would predate the attack that compromised Target.

At nearly nine months, that’s slightly longer than the
average amount of time before a breach is detected.

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