Eataly breach shows hackers are targeting small businesses

The small, high-end Italian culinary marketplace Eataly recently announced that customer credit card information was compromised earlier this year.

According to a statement on the company's website, their New York location suffered a four month long data breach. In April, Eataly began an investigation after employees, who were also patrons of the restaurant, noticed fraudulent charges on their credit cards. They discovered that their network was hacked and malware was installed on their point of sale devices, logging credit card data between January 16 and April 2 of this year.

The company and local police are still working to find a culprit, but they are recommending all customers during that time frame contact their credit card issuers. In addition, Eataly is offering a year of complimentary fraud resolution and identity protection services to those affected. 

"The disruption to our business, the extent of unanticipated costs and expenses, and the unwelcome frustration and concern caused upon our customers have all been, and continue to be, significant," Eataly said in a statement.

The method of attack is similar to those used in the recent Target and Home Depot breaches. The New York Times reports that this breach reflects a growing trend since those larger incidents: hackers are targeting smaller businesses as corporate chains increase their security.

"The smaller businesses, which tend to have less sophisticated security defenses, are more vulnerable to hackers seeking to exploit weak spots in the point-of-sale systems used by companies to process credit card payments," wrote Matthew Goldstein of the New York Times.

On top of that, Goldstein reports that shoppers at these smaller businesses are less likely to be notified, as they are not publicly traded and bound by fewer disclosure agreements.

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