Data Breach at Dairy Queen

Data Breach at Dairy Queen

August 29, 2014         Written By John H. Oldshue

Last week, the Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory that estimated more than 1,000 businesses have been affected by the same “Backoff” malicious software which led to the Target breach.

Dairy Queen appears to be the latest victim.

The Minneapolis-based chain confirmed yesterday it is investigating suspicious activity on debit and credit cards that may have placed customer data at risk. The company did not verify how many stores or customers had been affected, but some reports indicate the breach took place in DQ stores throughout seven states.

“We are gathering information from a number of sources, including law enforcement, credit card companies and processors,” Dairy Queen said in a statement.

“The protection of customer data is a top priority for us and our franchisees, and we take it seriously,” said Dean Peters, media spokesman for the Minneapolis-based fast-food chain in a statement. “We, like many other companies, were recently notified that customer data at a limited number of stores may be at risk, due to the widespread proliferation of the ‘Backoff’ malware.”

American Dairy Queen Corporation, a subsidiary of Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway, owns and franchises over 6,000 Dairy Queen units throughout the world.

This is the latest in a long line of data breaches that have taken place at major retail companies, including TargetNeiman MarcusMichaelsP.F. Chang’s, UPS StoresSally Beauty, and Supervalu and Albertsons grocery stores. In addition, one of the country’s leading hospital chains, Community Health Systems, has also reported a data breach.

In response to the rampant spread of the Backoff malware, the Payment Card Industry Security Standards Council issued a bulletin on how retailers could help protect their transactions against this malicious software.


The information contained within this article was accurate as of August 29, 2014. For up-to-date
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About John H. Oldshue

John Oldshue is the creator of He worked for over 15 years in television and won an Emmy award for his reporting. He covers credit card rate issues for
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