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Wawa announces data breach, ‘potentially all’ locations affected

Wawa is currently investigating and addressing a data security incident that impacted their store locations, Wawa CEO Chris Gheysens said in a statement on Thursday.

Wawa’s information security team discovered malware on Wawa payment processing servers on December 10, 2019, and contained it by December 12, 2019.  This malware affected customer payment card information used at potentially all Wawa locations beginning at different points in time after March 4, 2019 and until it was contained.  At this time, we believe this malware no longer poses a risk to Wawa customers using payment cards at Wawa, and this malware never posed a risk to their ATM cash machines.

“I want to reassure you that you will not be responsible for any fraudulent charges on your payment cards related to this incident, as described in the detailed information below.  Please review this entire letter carefully to learn about the resources Wawa is providing and the steps you should take now to protect your information,” Gheysens said.

“I apologize deeply to all of you, our friends and neighbors, for this incident.  You are my top priority and are critically important to all of the nearly 37,000 associates at Wawa. We take this special relationship with you and the protection of your information very seriously.  I can assure you that throughout this process, everyone at Wawa has followed our longstanding values and has worked quickly and diligently to address this issue and inform our customers as quickly as possible,” Gheysens said.

Based on the company’s investigation to date, different points in time after March 4, 2019, malware began running on in-store payment processing systems at potentially all Wawa locations. Although the dates may vary and some Wawa locations may not have been affected at all, this malware was present on most store systems by approximately April 22, 2019, Gheysens said.

Their information security team identified this malware on December 10, 2019, and by Dec. 12, 2019, they had blocked and contained this malware. Wawa also immediately initiated an investigation, notified law enforcement and payment card companies, and engaged a leading external forensics firm to support our response efforts. Because of the immediate steps we took after discovering this malware, we believe that as of December 12, 2019, this malware no longer poses a risk to customers using payment cards at Wawa, Gheysens said.

Based on our investigation to date, this malware affected payment card information, including credit and debit card numbers, expiration dates, and cardholder names on payment cards used at potentially all Wawa in-store payment terminals and fuel dispensers beginning at different points in time after March 4, 2019 and ending on Dec. 12, 2019, Gheysens said.

Wawa has arranged with Experian to provide potentially impacted customers with one year of identity theft protection and credit monitoring at no charge, Gheysens said.

For more information about the data breach visit Wawa’s website.

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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