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McDonald's becomes latest company to be hit by data breach

DOJ to prioritize ransomware on same level as terrorism
Department of Justice to prioritize cyberattacks on same level as terrorism 03:02

McDonald's has become the latest company to be hit by a data breach after unauthorized activity on its network exposed the personal data of some customers in South Korea and Taiwan.

The fast-food giant said Friday that it quickly identified and contained the incident and that a thorough investigation was done.

"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.

McDonald's said its investigation determined that only South Korea and Taiwan had customer personal data accessed, and that they would be taking steps to notify regulators and also the customers who may be impacted. No customer payment information was exposed.

McDonald's said it will look at the investigation's findings, coupled with input from security resources, to identify ways to further enhance its existing security measures.

Meat supplier JBS paid $11 million ransom after cyberattack 01:53

Businesses across various sectors are being targeted by cybercriminals, including some very high profile cases in recent weeks. On Wednesday, JBS, the world's largest meat processing company, revealed that it had paid the equivalent of $11 million to hackers who broke into its computer system last month.

The company ultimately paid the ransom in Bitcoin cryptocurrency to prevent further disruptions of the meat plants, mitigating potential damage to the food supply — including restaurants, grocery stores and farmers that rely on JBS production. 

And Colonial Pipeline, which transports about half of the fuel consumed on the East Coast, last month paid a ransom of 75 bitcoin — then valued at roughly $4.4 million — in hopes of getting its system back online. On Monday the Justice Department announced that it had recovered most of the ransom payment.

Colonial Pipeline CEO defends paying nearly $5 million to Russian hackers 07:45

National security threat

The recent ransomware attacks highlight the vulnerability of the country's energy infrastructure to hackers. It also shines light on an emerging ransomware business trend in the depths of the dark web where criminal gangs brazenly sell their expertise in computerized mayhem to the highest bidder.

U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland on Wednesday cautioned that ransomware attacks are "getting worse and worse," echoing concerns of White House officials who have orchestrated emergency meetings to brainstorm responses to the national security threat.

National security adviser Jake Sullivan on Wednesday told reporters aboard Air Force One that President Biden would "100%" bring up cyberattacks in his upcoming meeting Russian President Vladimir Putin. 

Mr. Biden is scheduled to speak with Putin on June 16 in Geneva, Switzerland, as part of his first overseas trip as president. 

Musadiq Bidar and Nicole Sganga contributed to this report.

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