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Yum! Brands Suffers Ransomware Attack

What Happened

Yum! Brands, the company behind KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut, recently announced that it suffered a ransomware attack in the UK. The attack disrupted operations at almost 300 of its businesses and forced the company to take its systems offline while it worked to restore them. In recent years, cybercriminals have become increasingly sophisticated in their tactics and use of stolen credentials, leading to more significant cybersecurity risks for companies in all industries. Fortunately, Yum! Brands took immediate action after detecting the incident, including taking specific systems offline and enhancing monitoring technology.

The firm is working to restore affected systems and expects to complete this process shortly, but it mentioned that they do not expect any additional negative impacts on the business. “While this incident caused temporary disruption, the company is aware of no other restaurant disruptions and does not expect this event to have a material adverse impact on its business, operations or financial results,” the company shared in its statement. While it is unclear how the attack began, it is important to note that they have launched an investigation to identify the root cause. They have also reportedly hired industry-leading security and forensics professionals. Let’s explore why this attack occurred and why having a strong cybersecurity posture is essential to modern business.

Rise of Automated Use of Stolen Credentials

The FBI warned of criminals launching credential-stuffing campaigns against various businesses, including retailers, restaurants, and mobile apps, back in August 2022. These targeted businesses tend to be considered less of a priority and could fall victim to these automated attacks. Credential stuffing attacks are a type of brute-force attack where malicious actors use lists of usernames and passwords from past data breaches to gain access to other accounts. This can lead to compromised data or even ransomware infections like Yum! Brands experienced.

Closing Thoughts

The rise of ransomware attacks is forcing companies to take the steps needed to protect themselves from potential attacks. Implementing strong technical solutions such as firewalls and antivirus software is essential. Still, there needs to be an emphasis on employee training so that everyone understands what potential threats exist and how they can help prevent them from occurring within your organization’s infrastructure. While it appears Yum! Brands have avoided a breach of customer information; it is more apparent than ever that even the largest and most mature businesses are not exempt from cyber threats.