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McDonald's Just Had an International Data Breach—Here's How It May Affect You

A cyber attack compromised the chain's data in several markets, including the U.S.

Cyber attacks on major companies continue as McDonald's finds itself to be the latest victim of hackers. The company said on Friday that a data breach in South Korea, Taiwan, and the United States exposed some employee and customer information, but the chain was able to quickly respond and mitigate the scope of the incident.

"While we were able to close off access quickly after identification, our investigation has determined that a small number of files were accessed, some of which contained personal data," the burger chain said, according to CBS News.

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Hackers were able to attain customer information, like emails, phone numbers, and delivery addresses, in South Korea and Taiwan. The latter market also had some of its employee information stolen. However, no customer payment information was compromised, McDonald's confirmed.

If you're an American customer, you can breathe a sigh of relief—in the United States, the breach did not include any customer data. However, The Wall Street Journal reports that the chain did notify its U.S. employees of some compromised business contact information pertaining to American employees and franchisees, as well as information about seating capacity and square footage of play areas at some restaurants. The company claims the stolen data wasn't personal or sensitive and has alerted employees to watch for phishing emails in the future.

McDonald's said it conducted an investigation on an internal security system and cut off unauthorized access a week after it was identified. The company will be notifying affected parties as well as regulators and using the investigation findings to further enhance their cybersecurity.

This is just the latest in a chain of cyberattacks on big companies. While the attack did not disrupt McDonald's operations in any of the affected markets, JBS USA Holdings Inc. wasn't as lucky in an attack suffered earlier this month. The world's largest meat processing company had all of its U.S. beef plants shut down, resulting in a major loss of output. To further avoid disruptions in its facilities, JBS was forced to pay an $11 million ransom.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is a Deputy Editor leading ETNT's coverage of America's favorite fast foods and restaurant chains. Read more