China Bistro Accused of Giant Data Breach

     CHICAGO (CN) – Lax security at P.F. Chang’s China Bistro allowed hackers to steal up to 7 million customers’ credit and debit card numbers, and the restaurant waited nine months to tell customers about the security breach, a class action claims in Federal Court.
     Lead plaintiff ­John Lewert sued P.F. Chang’s China Bistro on Wednesday.
     The complaint states: “On June 12, 2014, P.F. Chang’s disclosed a data breach involving the theft of customers’ credit-card and debit-card data with an unknown number of compromised customer accounts. While the cause of the security breach is presently uncertain, P.F. Chang’s claims to have learned of the compromise on June 10, 2014. However, the security breach likely began as far back as September of 2013 – potentially impacting 7 million credit and debit card accounts.”
     P.F. Chang’s operates a full-service restaurant of the same name, plus Pei Wei restaurants, both of which serve Chinese food.
     “P.F. Chang’s security failures enabled hackers to steal financial data from within P.F. Chang’s systems and, on information and belief, subsequently make unauthorized purchases on customers’ credit cards and otherwise put class members’ financial information at serious and ongoing risk. The hackers continue to use the information they obtained as a result of P.F. Chang’s inadequate security to exploit and injure class members across the United States,” the complaint states.
     “The security breach was caused and enabled by P.F. Chang’s knowing violation of its obligations to abide by best practices and industry standards in protecting customers’ personal information. P.F. Chang’s failed to comply with security standards and allowed their customers’ financial information to be compromised, all in an effort to save money by cutting corners on security measures that could have prevented or mitigated the Security Breach that occurred.”
     Lewert claims that P.F. Chang’s failed to notify customers of the security breach until June, leaving them unable to protect their financial information in a timely manner.
     He wants P.F. Chang’s to pay for three years worth of credit card monitoring services for all class members, plus punitive damages for breach of implied contract, and violations of the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.
     He is represented by Joseph Siprut.

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