Yum Brands Pwned In A Ransomware Attack…. Personally Identifiable Info Swiped

Yum Brands, parent company to KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, has confirmed that personally identifiable info was compromised in a January 2023 ransomware attack.

Initially disclosed on January 18, the cyberattack resulted in Yum taking systems offline to contain the incident and closing roughly 300 restaurants in the UK for one day.

At the time, the company said that only corporate data was stolen during the attack, but a filing with the Maine Attorney General’s Office reveals that PII was compromised as well.

In a notification letter sent to potentially impacted individuals, Yum states that personal information such as names, driver’s license numbers, ID numbers, and other types of personal identifiers was stolen during the ransomware attack.

While Yum notes that it has “no evidence of identity theft or fraud” involving the stolen PII, such data is typically traded or shared on underground hacker portals and ultimately used in phishing and other types of attacks.

In a January 8-K filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), the company said that the incident was not expected to impact its operations or financial results. However, the incident will incur expenses, the company says.

“We have incurred, and may continue to incur, certain expenses related to this attack, including expenses to respond to, remediate and investigate this matter. We remain subject to risks and uncertainties as a result of the incident, including as a result of the data that was taken from the company’s network,” Yum notes in an annual report filed with the SEC last week.

Yum told the Maine Attorney General’s Office that it has yet to determine the exact number of impacted individuals. The company’s annual report does not provide specific information on this either.

Darren Williams, CEO and Founder, BlackFog had this to say about this incident:

     “This attack highlights not only the direct costs of a ransomware attack but also the flow on effects such as remediation, reporting and exposure to class action lawsuits. The additional regulatory reporting requirement for PII raises additional concerns and raises questions about the extent of the data exfiltration that has taken place. There is no question that this information will be sold on underground trading networks on the Dark Web such as Industrial Spy as we have seen in the past. It often takes companies several months to realize the extent of an attack, because its difficult to know where to look. The lack of data exfiltration detection means most companies don’t really know as we saw in the example from Ferrari, where it took several months before they finally admitted that data was stolen.”

This is something to keep an eye on because of the fact that PII was swiped. That’s the sort of info that is perfect to do identity theft as well as other attacks on individuals. Thus if Yum reaches out to you and says you were affected, you should really pay attention.

UPDATE: Roy Akerman, Co-Founder & CEO, Rezonate:

   “We repeatedly realize the criticality of a proactive practice to remove excessive access to critical systems holding PII data while at the same time the need to continuously monitor for any abnormal attempt to compromise systems. Data compromised in a leak may lead to follow up incidents and further compromise identities.”

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: