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Whole Foods hit with credit card security scare, proving no company is safe from hackers

Published Sep 29th, 2017 3:45PM EDT
whole foods hack
Image: Julie Jacobson/AP/REX/Shutterstock

If you shop anywhere, or really buy anything with a credit card these days, there’s a fantastic chance you’re going to end up hearing that your precious financial information was obtained by someone who shouldn’t have it. At least that would seem to be the lesson to take away from today’s news that Whole Foods is investigating a breach of its credit card system. That kale salad isn’t sounding quite as appetizing now, is it?

The popular grocery chain, which was gobbled up by Amazon just a couple of months back, has revealed that an unidentified party managed to access its payment system… sort of. The wrinkle here is that the regular payment system isn’t thought to have been breached — so if you bought your groceries at the checkout and left, you’re in the clear — but rather the separate credit card system that Whole Foods uses to handle payments made in its in-store restaurants and taprooms.

“The company’s investigation is ongoing and it will provide additional updates as it learns more,” the company said in a bulletin. “While most Whole Foods Market stores do not have these taprooms and restaurants, Whole Foods Market encourages its customers to closely monitor their payment card statements and report any unauthorized charges to the issuing bank.”

Whole Foods also notes that this does not impact any Amazon-based accounts in any way, as the company’s systems aren’t linked to Amazon’s.

The details on how many customers were potentially impacted by the breach remain scarce, and Whole Foods isn’t venturing to guess who was involved in the hack, or even publicly stating when the breach took place. That said, the company notes that it is working with “a leading cybersecurity forensics firm” as well as law enforcement to figure out exactly how this all went down.