“…The (restaurant group) believes that it was a sophisticated, outside attack…Boston Police and the US Secret Service are investigating…This is the second major breach of the Briar Groupâ€™s payment systems. In 2009, malware, or malicious software, was apparently installed on Briarâ€™s computers, allowing thieves to access credit and debit card information. The chain paid a $110,000 to the state to settle allegations that it failed to protect dinersâ€™ personal information after that security breach.
A local restaurant chain confirmed Friday that its computer systems were breached, putting the credit-card information of thousands of customers at risk, including visitors who attended two major conventions in Boston.
The Briar Group, which owns 10 restaurants and bars in Boston, including two at the Westin hotel connected to the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, said its computer systems were infiltrated sometime between October and early November. It said customer names, credit-card numbers, expiration dates, and security information were captured from the cardsâ€™ magnetic strips.
The company isnâ€™t sure how many customers were affected, but every month thousands visit Briarâ€™s locations, said Diana C. Pisciotta, a spokeswoman for the chain.
The American Public Health Association hosted 13,000 conventioneers in Boston in early November, and the American Society of Human Genetics brought 8,000 attendees to a conference in October. Both reported that hundreds of people reported unauthorized charges on their accounts after visiting Boston.