WEST DES MOINES, Iowa — Hy-Vee now says malware was stealing customers credit and debit card information for more than seven months before it was detected in late July.
Hy-Vee announced in August that customer information, including credit and debit card numbers and expiration dates, had been compromised by a breach of their “point-of-sale” devices at gas stations, restaurants and drive-thru coffee shops. Payment systems at cash registers inside the store and pharmacies were not impacted.
On Thursday the company released new details on their investigation into the breach. Hy-Vee says malware began intercepting credit and debit card information on December 14th, 2018. The breach was stopped on July 29th, 2019 after the malware was discovered.
Hy-Vee has setup a special website to answer questions about the data breach. You can use the website to find out if your local Hy-Vee was affected.
Hy-Vee says it is in the process of sending letters or emails to customers.
Here is the complete statement released by Hy-Vee on Thursday:
Hy-Vee is providing additional information about the payment card incident that we first reported on August 14, 2019. This following information further explains the incident, the measures we have taken, and some steps you can take in response.
After detecting unauthorized activity on some of our payment processing systems on July 29, 2019, we immediately began an investigation and leading cybersecurity firms were engaged to assist. We also notified federal law enforcement and the payment card networks.
The investigation identified the operation of malware designed to access payment card data from cards used on point-of-sale (“POS”) devices at certain Hy-Vee fuel pumps, drive-thru coffee shops, and restaurants (which include our Hy-Vee Market Grilles, Hy-Vee Market Grille Expresses and the Wahlburgers locations that Hy-Vee owns and operates, as well as the cafeteria at Hy-Vee’s West Des Moines corporate office). The malware searched for track data (which sometimes has the cardholder name in addition to card number, expiration date, and internal verification code) read from a payment card as it was being routed through the POS device. However, for some locations, the malware was not present on all POS devices at the location, and it appears that the malware did not copy data from all of the payment cards used during the period that it was present on a given POS device. There is no indication that other customer information was accessed.
The specific timeframes when data from cards used at these locations involved may have been accessed vary by location over the general timeframe beginning December 14, 2018, to July 29, 2019, for fuel pumps and beginning January 15, 2019, to July 29, 2019, for restaurants and drive-thru coffee shops. There are six locations where access to card data may have started as early as November 9, 2018, and one location where access to card data may have continued through August 2, 2019.
A list of the locations involved and specific timeframes is available at www.hy-vee.com/paymentcardincident. The site also provides information about the incident and additional steps customers may take. For those customers Hy-Vee can identify as having used their card at a location involved during that location’s specific timeframe and for whom Hy-Vee has a mailing address or email address, Hy-Vee will be mailing them a letter or sending them an email.
Payment card transactions were not involved at our front-end checkout lanes; inside convenience stores; pharmacies; customer service counters; wine & spirits locations; floral departments; clinics; and all other food service areas which utilize point-to-point encryption technology, as well as transactions processed through Aisles Online.
During the investigation, we removed the malware and implemented enhanced security measures, and we continue to work with cybersecurity experts to evaluate additional ways to enhance the security of payment card data. In addition, we continue to support law enforcement’s investigation and are working with the payment card networks so that the banks that issue payment cards can be made aware and initiate heightened monitoring.
It is always advisable for customers to review their payment card statements for any unauthorized activity. Customers should immediately report any unauthorized charges to their card issuer because payment card rules generally provide that cardholders are not responsible for unauthorized charges reported in a timely manner. The phone number to call is usually on the back of the payment card.