US-based restaurant chain Earl Enterprises has reported a data security breach that resulted in a leak of customer payment card information.

Believed to have occurred between 23 May 2018 and 18 March this year, the incident may have potentially affected guests at locations that include Buca di Beppo, Earl of Sandwich, Planet Hollywood, Chicken Guy!, Mixology and Tequila Taqueria.

The restaurant chain has hired two cybersecurity firms to conduct a thorough investigation to understand the details of the incident.

Italian restaurant chain Buca di Beppo reportedly knew about a data breach of two million credit card and debit numbers being stolen since February 21 but waited until the end of March to reveal it.

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According to a report in KrebsOnSecurity the company contacted the restaurant chain in late February after finding evidence that credit card and debit card numbers were being sold on the dark web.

“The restaurant company is also planning to closely monitor its systems and take additional security measures to prevent any such incidents happening in the future.”

According to the company, malware was used for the data breach on its point-of-sale (POS) systems to collect information such as credit or debit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names used for in-restaurant purchases.

The company has also notified law enforcement of the incident and will continue to fully cooperate with them throughout the investigation process.

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However, the company noted that the data of customers paid for online orders through third-party applications or platforms were not affected by this incident.

The leak has now been contained and the company is working with security experts on further remediation efforts.

The restaurant company is also planning to closely monitor its systems and take additional security measures to prevent any such incidents happening in the future.

Earl Enterprises also advises affected customers to remain vigilant and monitor their payment card statements for suspicious charges or activity.