15 Feb 2012

Virus attacks local restaurants, credit card system

Police in Tampa Bay, Florida, are investigating a string of identity theft incidents at local restaurants, according to The Tampa Tribune. Numerous restaurants have reported customers' credit and debit cards have been stolen after being used at local restaurants. This may be the fault of a virus, showing that even small businesses like restaurants need antivirus software.

Dan Kaschel, a computer security professional in the Tampa area, said the cards typically take a week to be cloned, the news source said. He said a review of one of the restaurant's system showed no signs information had been transmitted to an external network since late January. Chery Capdevila, co-owner of La Teresita, one of the restaurants attacked, said she credits customers for helping solve the problem.

"Thank God our customers have trusted us and knew we weren't doing anything wrong," she told  The Tampa Tribune. "The first customer that called me, we took it very seriously. This has been very terrible. It has been very, very overwhelming. We take this very seriously."

Josh Nelson of My Computer Doctor told Lancester, Pennsylvania, NBC affiliate WGAL that viruses like this get installed on computers via accidental clicks. Antivirus software can help stop such occurrences.