Ransomware attack hits nearly 300 fast food restaurants in UK, including KFC and Pizza Hut
Image: Maxime Lebrun
Alexander Martin January 19, 2023

Ransomware attack hits nearly 300 fast food restaurants in UK, including KFC and Pizza Hut

Ransomware attack hits nearly 300 fast food restaurants in UK, including KFC and Pizza Hut

A ransomware attack closed nearly 300 fast-food restaurants in the United Kingdom, according to a statement from Yum! Brands published late Wednesday evening.

Yum! Brands, an American company which owns KFC, Pizza Hut and Taco Bell, stated “certain information technology systems” were impacted in the incident.

Data was taken from the company’s network, the statement confirmed. It added that the investigation is ongoing and that “at this stage, there is no evidence that customer databases were stolen.”

The company said it “initiated response protocols, including deploying containment measures such as taking certain systems offline and implementing enhanced monitoring technology.”

Third-party cybersecurity and forensics specialists have been brought in, and — although the impact was mainly felt in the corporation’s British operations — Yum! said it had informed federal law enforcement in the United States.

“Less than 300 restaurants in the United Kingdom were closed for one day, but all stores are now operational,” the company stated, adding that it was “actively engaged in fully restoring affected systems, which is expected to be largely complete in the coming days.”

It is not clear when the actual incident took place nor how long it has taken Yum! in total to restore the affected systems.

A spokesperson did not immediately respond to The Record when asked if Yum! had paid the ransom.

“While this incident caused temporary disruption, the company is aware of no other restaurant disruptions and does not expect this event to have a material adverse impact on its business, operations or financial results,” the statement added.

Alexander Martin is the UK Editor for Recorded Future News. He was previously a technology reporter for Sky News and is also a fellow at the European Cyber Conflict Research Initiative.