Canadian restaurant company Recipe Unlimited, comprised of the popular restaurants Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, Milestones, Kelsey's, Montana's, Bier Markt and East Side Mario's, is the latest target of a vicious cyber attack. Hackers have claimed to have stolen the company's data and are demanding a ransom for the retrieval.
On Monday, October 1st, the corporation announced the "malware outbreak" affecting some of their restaurants. Recipe Unlimited operates over 1,000 restaurants, located mainly in Canada.
As a result, they were forced to temporarily close up shop at several of their locations. Other locations are remain open, however, they aren't able to take online orders or accept credit or debit transactions.
Restaurant employees who were witnesses to the hack, which happened on Friday, have come forward detailing the events. They spoke to the CBC, however, chose to remain anonymous due to fear of repercussion from their employers for speaking out on the incident.
"All of our computer systems crashed," said one worker. "The ransom note appeared under the file, 'read me' in a WordPad format. We were all really in a state of shock."
The ransom note stated that the hackers had no trouble getting into the company's system. They also claimed they used "the strongest military algorithms" to crypt company files. They're demanding a ransom in cryptocurrency if Recipe Unlimited wants their data back.
Recipe Unlimited Corp. says some of its Swiss Chalet, Harvey's, East Side Mario's and other restaurants are experiencing a partial network outage after a malware outbreak. #news #ctvnews #ICYMI #security #text https://t.co/YxevUYrTra— CTV Northern Ontario (@CTVNorthernNews) October 2, 2018
"The final price depends on how fast you write us," the note said. They are demanding 0.5 Bitcoin for each day of delays. This equals more than $4,000 in Canadian currency.
While employees are speaking out over their shock, the corporation seems to be downplaying the incident. They have denied that they are being held ransom because they claim they have a secure system.
Montana’s would only take cash. All of their systems were down including the bar register which they use to punch in drinks. East Side Mario’s was simply closed.— Paul Brunet (@paultwo) October 2, 2018
A spokesperson for Recipe Unlimited told the CBC that the ransom note they received is merely a generic one. They claim it can be found easily online via a Google search.
They have not yet commented on when their closed locations will reopen. All I know is someone better get to the bottom of this fast - my constant cravings for Harvey's poutine depends on it.