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The Weekly Hack: Applebee’s data breach and continued cryptocurrency concerns

Hackers targeted Applebee’s franchises and Japan is cracking down cryptocurrency exchanges

Photo (c) Jcomp - Getty Images
People who dined at certain Applebee’s franchises sometime between November 2017 and January 2018 should pay extra attention to any suspicious activity on their credit cards.

RMH Franchise Holdings announced today that the computer system used by its Applebee’s stores was infected with malware, allowing hackers to access the names and credit card information of customers.

“We are providing this notice to our guests as a precaution to inform them of the incident and to call their attention to some steps they can take to help protect themselves,” RMH alerted customers in a press release.

RMH said it initially discovered the security breach on February 13. The company owns 167 Applebee’s restaurants across the country.


Hacks involving Bitcoin or one of its many imitators are becoming a regular part of the news cycle. Financial regulators in Japan are now responding by cracking down on seven platforms where people trade cryptocurrency, including the popular application Coincheck, which is based in Japan but used by cryptocurrency traders worldwide.

Coincheck consumers lost an estimated $530 million to hackers in late January in what experts said was the largest cryptocurrency theft to date. The company’s CEO Yusuke Otsuka has promised that affected victims will be compensated.

In the United States, the SEC also released a warning on Wednesday about the security risks that online trading platforms pose.

Meanwhile, users of another cryptocurrency exchange called Binance recently became suspicious that they were being targeted by hackers. Affected individuals reported seeing bizarre discrepancies on their accounts via Reddit, which prompted a response from CEO Changpeng Zhao.. On Wednesday, he took to Twitter to say that “All funds are safe” and promised an investigation.

The announcement didn’t come soon enough for Bitcoin traders. Value of Bitcoin dipped below $10,000 this week, which Mashable reports is likely due to the Binance hack rumors and the SEC warning.

Tennessee senate candidate

A hacker may have impersonated Tennessee Senate candidate Phil Bredesen and emailed his contacts, Bredesen’s campaign warned in a letter to the FBI. Bredesen, the former governor of Tennessee, is running as a Democrat in a race that The Hill newspaper reports is a toss-up, raising concerns among Democrats that hackers could be trying to interfere with the midterm elections.


A hacking group known for going after government agencies in Asia has been sending emails to Japanese professors in an attempt to steal their research. The group reportedly pretended to be from the Japanese government and sent professors downloads that contained malware. The campaign serves as another obvious reminder to never download unknown files.

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