In a statement issued by Jimmy John’s the company confirmed a data breach to its point-of-sale systems at 216 locations in the US.

The US sandwich chain Jimmy John’s has confirmed a breach at its 216 stores. The news was reported by the KrebsonOnSecurity a few weeks after that Brian Krebs announced investigation on breach claims.

Jimmy John’s company confirmed that one of its payment vendors was compromised exposing customer credit and debit card data at 216 stores.

Jimmy John’s has published on its official website, jimmyjohns.com, the list of locations which suffered the data breach, 216 stores on more than 1,900 franchised Jimmy John’s locations across the United States.

In July, KrebsOnSecurity reported that several banks noticed anomalous activities on cards that were recently used at Jimmy John’s stores in the USA.

Immediately Jimmy John’s company reported its information to law enforcement, which started the investigation.

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KrebsOnSecurity speculated that the incident could be linked to the software running on point-of-sale systems designed by Newtown, Pa.-based Signature Systems.

“multiple Jimmy John’s stores contacted by this author said they ran point-of-sale systems made by Newtown, Pa.-based Signature Systems.” states Brian Krebs in his blog post.

According to Jimmy John’s, between June 16, 2014 and Sept. 5, 2014 customers’ credit and debit card data was compromised after an intruder stole login credentials from the company’s point-of-sale vendor and used them to remotely access the point-of-sale systems at some stores located in the US.

“Approximately 216 stores appear to have been affected by this event,” Jimmy John’s said in the statement. “Cards impacted by this event appear to be those swiped at the stores, and did not include those cards entered manually or online. The credit and debit card information at issue may include the card number and in some cases the cardholder’s name, verification code, and/or the card’s expiration date. Information entered online, such as customer address, email, and password, remains secure.” states Jimmy John’s in an official statement.

The statement from Jimmy John’s confirms that the point-of-sale vendor was compromised, but anyway avoided to provide its name.

Point-of-sale systems are a privileged target for cyber criminals, recent incidents demonstrated that threat actors are focusing their efforts into compromise POS systems due to the lack of adequate defense systems. In many cases POS systems are poorly configured, vendors enable remote access to the machines with weak processes of authentication.

As correctly remarked by Brian Krebs, there is the risk that also other companies using the same POS software may have been similarly breached.

In some cases, threat actors are able to jeopardize point-of-sale systems remaining undetected for a long time, with serious consequences like the recent incident occurred to the Goodwill firm. Payment POS system at GoodWill were produced by C&K Systems Inc., threat actors went undetected for 18 months, and involved two other as-yet unnamed C&K customers.

It’s time to approach seriously security for POS systems.

Pierluigi Paganini