Ransomware Shut Down McMenamins Phone and Credit Card Systems

Ransomware is the work of hackers who seize company computer systems and demand payment.

At the Drive-In at Crystal Ballroom in 2015. IMAGE: Henry Cromett.

Ransomware and malware attacks are hamstringing some major Oregon institutions.

Last week, pub and hotel chain McMenamins suffered a ransomware attack that left its employees’ personal information potentially compromised. (Ransomware is the work of hackers who seize company computer systems and demand payment.)

Headquarters today told WW that its email and phone systems are currently unavailable because of the attack. McMenamins told the newspaper last week that some restaurants were using credit card imprinters, or handheld devices that copy the face of the card, and storing the information until cards could be charged once systems were back up (they now are, according to a spokesperson).

McMenamins said in an information sheet sent to employees Dec. 21: “The files impacted contained employee Social Security numbers. There was a potential that the thieves accessed files containing direct deposit bank account information, but we do not have a clear indication that they did so.”

Meanwhile, the Oregon Department of Transportation says its Rose Quarter project site was attacked by malware. The agency is creating an interim site for the highway project.

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