Wendy’s investigating ‘unusual activity’ on payment cards

Wendy’s Co. said it is investigating reports of “unusual activity” on payment cards that had been used at some of its restaurants.

The company said it learned from payment industry contacts this month of reports indicating fraudulent charges may have occurred on cards that had been used legitimately at some of its locations. It said it is has launched an investigation with the help of cybersecurity experts and is cooperating with law enforcement officials.

“Until this investigation is completed, it is difficult to determine with certainty the nature or scope of any potential incident,” the company said.

The possible security breach was first reported Wednesday by Krebs on Security.

Data security continues to be an issue for consumer-facing companies, and those with franchise models may be particularly vulnerable, says Andrew Komarov, chief intelligence officer for InfoArmor, a Scottsdale, Ariz.,-based computer security company.

“Traditionally, big corporations and retailers use franchised-based models,” he says, which means that “in many cases their security in different branches is absolutely decentralized on practice. This allows bad actors to take advantage of such insecurities.”

Wendy’s has more than 6,500 franchised and company-owned restaurants worldwide.

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