Wawa facing wave of lawsuits after announcing massive data breach affecting all of their locations

Wawa announces massive data breach that affected customer payment info potentially at all of their locations

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - Wawa is facing a wave of lawsuits over a data breach that affected its 850 locations along the East Coast, including here in Florida, according to the Associated Press.

Last week, Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens informed the public that on December 10, their information security team discovered malware on their processing servers. It was contained two days later, but Wawa officials believe the malware had been collecting card numbers, customer names and other data at all Wawa locations since as early as March.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reported Friday that at least six lawsuits seeking class-action status have been filed in federal court in Philadelphia. A Wawa spokesman declined to comment on the pending litigation.

Gheysens says they believe the malware no longer poses a risk to customers using a payment card at Wawa locations and it never posed a risk to their ATMs.

“I apologize deeply to all of you, our friends and neighbors, for this incident. You are my top priority and are critically important to all of the nearly 37,000 associates at Wawa. We take this special relationship with you and the protection of your information very seriously. I can assure you that throughout this process, everyone at Wawa has followed our longstanding values and has worked quickly and diligently to address this issue and inform our customers as quickly as possible,” he said in a statement.

Thousands of Wawa customers could be affected. The company says information that may have been taken included credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names on payment cards. It says debit card PIN numbers, credit card CVV2 numbers (the three or four-digit security code printed on the card), other PIN numbers, and driver’s license information used to verify age-restricted purchases were not affected by this malware.

Below is detailed information from the company:

What Happened? Based on our investigation to date, we understand that at different points in time after March 4, 2019, malware began running on in-store payment processing systems at potentially all Wawa locations. Although the dates may vary and some Wawa locations may not have been affected at all, this malware was present on most store systems by approximately April 22, 2019. Our information security team identified this malware on December 10, 2019, and by December 12, 2019, they had blocked and contained this malware. We also immediately initiated an investigation, notified law enforcement and payment card companies, and engaged a leading external forensics firm to support our response efforts. Because of the immediate steps we took after discovering this malware, we believe that as of December 12, 2019, this malware no longer poses a risk to customers using payment cards at Wawa.

What Information Was Involved? Based on our investigation to date, this malware affected payment card information, including credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names on payment cards used at potentially all Wawa in-store payment terminals and fuel dispensers beginning at different points in time after March 4, 2019 and ending on December 12, 2019. Most locations were affected as of April 22, 2019, however, some locations may not have been affected at all. No other personal information was accessed by this malware. Debit card PIN numbers, credit card CVV2 numbers (the three or four-digit security code printed on the card), other PIN numbers, and driver’s license information used to verify age-restricted purchases were not affected by this malware. If you did not use a payment card at a Wawa in-store payment terminal or fuel dispenser during the relevant time frame, your information was not affected by this malware. At this time, we are not aware of any unauthorized use of any payment card information as a result of this incident. The ATM cash machines in our stores were not involved in this incident.

What We Are Doing As soon as we discovered this malware on December 10, 2019, we took immediate steps to contain it, and by December 12, 2019, we had blocked and contained it. We believe this malware no longer poses a risk to customers using payment cards at Wawa. As indicated above, we engaged a leading external forensics firm to conduct an investigation, which has allowed us to provide the information that we are now able to share in this letter. We are also working with law enforcement to support their ongoing criminal investigation. We continue to take steps to enhance the security of our systems. We have also arranged for a dedicated toll-free call center (1-844-386-9559) to answer customer questions and offer credit monitoring and identity theft protection without charge to anyone whose information may have been involved, which you can sign up for as described below.

For steps on how to protect your information, which you can also see here:

Copyright 2019 WWSB. All rights reserved.