In an email to customers last week, Pizza Hut Australia CEO Phil Reed said the company became aware in early September that there had been "unauthorized third party access" to some of the company's data.
"We have confirmed that the data impacted relates to customer record details and online order transactions held on our Pizza Hut Australia customer database. We secured our systems, engaged forensic and cybersecurity specialists and initiated an ongoing investigation to help us understand what occurred and identify the data that was impacted," he said.
Information "exposed" in the incident included the establishment's customers' names, contact numbers, email addresses, delivery addresses and instructions – with encrypted credit card numbers and encrypted passwords of Pizza Hut Australia registered users.
"The credit card details we hold cannot be used to make fraudulent payments and all credit card payments are processed securely by an approved payment platform," the email continued.
Pizza Hut said there was "no evidence" that customers' personal information had been misused and noted that data it held "cannot, by itself, be used to commit identity theft or fraud."
Reed said the company's daily operations had not been affected by the hack. Customers were provided with the steps they can take to protect their information and avoid potential scams. The data security breach has also been reported to the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC), which notified the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC).
"Our investigation will continue, and we will update our customers if any additional relevant information becomes available."
Pizza Hut, which has 260 stores around Australia, is the latest company to be targeted by hackers. Bookstore Dymocks has also confirmed that 1.24 million customer records were stolen during a recent data breach.
The following are tips that can help you protect your privacy and personal information.
Use multi-factor authentication. Turn on multi-factor or two-factor authentication for as many of your online accounts as possible. This method uses a secondary piece of information to prove it is really you trying to log in – often a code generated by an app or sent via SMS (Short Message/Messaging Service), alongside a password.
Learn how to spot a phishing attack. There's no foolproof way to identify every type of phishing effort or scam — scammers are constantly upping their game — but being aware can help reduce its effectiveness. Be cautious and think before you click any links. Download files only from people and sources you know and trust.
Update everything. Note that every piece of technology you use is open to cyber attacks. It is crucial that you download the latest versions of the apps and software you are using on your phones, laptops, computers and other devices. You can set your downloads and system updates automatically or you can customize its settings.
Encrypt everything. Using encrypted services means that what you're sending is better protected against surveillance and won't be accessible if your device gets lost or stolen. For your emails, encrypted provider ProtonMail can protect your messages. There's also the option to use burner email accounts for mailing lists and purchases when you don't want to hand over your personal data.
Signal and WhatsApp are two end-to-end encrypted messaging services where your messages, including photos and videos, plus voice and video calls are encrypted by default within both apps.
Wipe for digital footprint. Reducing the amount of information that's available about your online life can help cut your risk of being hacked. A very simple step is to regularly delete your Google search history, but you can also use privacy-first Google alternatives.
Beyond this, there's a lot more you can do to reduce your digital footprint.
Find the old accounts you no longer use and delete them. It'll reduce the amount of spam you get and reduce the number of ways hackers can target you.
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