ATLANTA Georgia-based Arby s restaurant chain failed to prevent hackers from stealing customer information at hundreds of its stores, a Connecticut couple said in a new federal lawsuit. Since early February, eight credit unions and banks from Indiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Louisiana, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Montana have filed seven other federal lawsuits. All make similar allegations about what the credit unions describe as a massive data breach. Arby s said in a statement Monday that it s not commenting on the pending litigation, but we believe the claims are without merit and intend to vigorously defend against them.
From late October through Jan. 19, hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of credit and debit cards issued by financial institutions, including Plaintiff, were compromised due to Arby s severely inadequate security practices, North Alabama Educators Credit Union states in its lawsuit filed last month.
Arby s actions and omissions left highly sensitive Payment Card Data of the Plaintiff s customers exposed and accessible for hackers to steal for nearly three months, the Alabama credit union maintains. In the latest lawsuit, Jacqueline and Joseph Weiss of Glastonbury, Conn., say computer hackers used data-looting malware to penetrate systems at about 1,000 Arby s restaurants during the breach. In December 2016, the couple discovered thousands of dollars in unauthorized charges on the Visa card they d used at an Arby s in Connecticut, they say in their lawsuit filed last week.
The Weiesses lawsuit asserts that a credit union organization alerted its members that at least 355,000 credit and debit cards were compromised by the Arby s breach. By installing malware at the Point Of Sale or cash register, hackers were able to steal payment card data from remote locations as a card was swiped for payment, Indiana-based Midwest America Federal Credit Union claimed in a February lawsuit. Arby s knew the danger of not safeguarding its POS network as various high profile data breaches have occurred in the same way, including data breaches of Target, Home Depot and, most recently, Wendy s, the Indiana credit union maintains in its lawsuit.
Lawyers for the Weisse s say the threat isn t over.
There is a strong probability that entire batches of stolen information have yet to be dumped on the black market, they state, meaning Arby s customers could be at risk of fraud and identity theft for years into the future.
It s not clear whether a criminal investigation has been opened in the Arby s breach. The FBI s policy is not to confirm or deny whether a matter is being investigated, FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett said Monday.
Nova Scotia has 15 months to come up with ways to incorporate legal marijuana use into the province’s justice, public health and finance systems. A law professor, police chief and cannabis dispensary owner have weighed in on some of the issues they feel should be prioritized both on the road to and after the Trudeau Liberals introduce legislation to legalize pot in April 2018.
Legal rights versus public health
Archie Kaiser is a professor at the Schulich School of Law at Dalhousie. He says it’s possible for Canada to make the transition successfully as other countries have done. The challenge will be to define the role of criminal law while maintaining a focus on public health. Kaiser thinks legalization is a step in the right direction.
“By legalizing, you’re at least shifting the focus towards maximizing public health, maintaining public safety, while considering issues of revenues. So you’re changing the lens quite extensively.”
Kaiser says Canada does have some experience from the Prohibition era when the country banned the production and consumption of alcohol and then built it into a highly profitable and legally regulated industry..
“One can also look to other countries for examples of where, either legalization or decriminalization, have shown moderate to high levels of success,” he said. Canada’s Parliament, the public, provinces and municipalities will all play a role, however, he cautioned the final version of the legalization bill could look very different from the one introduced at first reading.
Keep it out of the hands of teens
Halifax Police Chief Jean Michel Blais said it will be business as usual for law enforcement until final decisions are made by the federal and provincial governments. He does have an opinion on the minimum age of consumers permitted to buy legalized pot.
Halifax Police Chief Jean Michel Blais said law enforcement regarding cannabis won’t change until the laws do. (CBC)
“As we’ve seen, there are concerns that anybody under the age of 25 who consumes marijuana is going to be having some cognitive impairment. Obviously, other people are comparing it to cigarettes and saying it should be only 18,” Blais said.
“I think it’s going to be whatever the provincial legislature decides upon. Obviously, I’d like to see it as high as possible,” said Blais.
Impairment issues concern McNeil
Premier Stephen McNeil also says he’ll comply with the federal government’s final decisions. However, he said he does have some concerns over how to deal with impairment such as operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana.
Premier Stephen McNeil wants procedures in place to deal with marijuana impairment. (Andrew Vaughan/The Canadian Press)
“From an impairment point of view, we need to make sure we have the right protocols in place,” the premier said.
“The Department of Justice has been working with their federal counterparts to make sure when it’s legalized the proper protocols will be there.”
‘Start to work together’
Chris Enns is the owner of Farm Assists, a cannabis dispensary in downtown Halifax, will continue to battle criminal charges until legalization occurs. His storefront business has been raided three times since 2013. All charges were dropped for employees. Enns still faces combined indictment charges before the Supreme Court of Nova Scotia. And despite the city’s attempt to shut it down, Farm Assists remains open for business.
Marijuana dispensary owner Christopher Enns says it is time for all players to work together to integrate legal pot into society. (CBC)
Enns thinks it’s a simple human rights issue for patients to have access to cannabis, or medicine as he calls it, whenever they need it.
“We would argue that the Charter, under Section 7, guarantees patients a right to life and a security of the person that doesn’t [deprive] them the option to purchase cannabis from a storefront dispensary,” Enns said.
“We’re here to fill that gap and make sure those patients’ Section 7 rights are maintained.”
Enns said now that the federal government is moving toward legalization, he’s ready to take a proactive approach and work with the province and municipality in providing a safe place for patients to buy cannabis from a retail storefront.
“If we move forward together as a city, as a province, as a nation on opening the doors and turning the ground on prohibition, then we can put in place those safe guards and start to work together,” Enns said.
“Ultimately, criminal activity around cannabis has resulted from a vacuum of production and vacuum of distribution. When a vacuum exists that’s created by prohibition, there will be criminality to fill that void.”
A man who was injured in an interaction with a loss prevention officer at Shoppers Drug Mart at York University allegedly stole a $2 bottle of pop, Toronto police say. The man, 25, has been charged with assault, assault with intent to resist arrest, possession of property obtained by crime, and theft under $5,000 in the incident on Friday. He appeared in court on Saturday and is due back in court on May 2nd. Const. Victor Kwong, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said the man who was charged allegedly punched the loss prevention officer in the face and allegedly had his hands around the officer’s throat.
According to Shoppers Drug Mart, the loss prevention officer is on leave due to injuries sustained in the incident.
Shoppers Drug Mart said in a weekend statement that it plans to conduct a ‘thorough investigation.’ (CBC)
In a video posted to the York United Black Students’ Alliance’s Facebook page, the accused man is lying on the ground outside of the store’s entrance, with his leg twisted at an unnatural angle. He screams in pain as onlookers and security guards hover nearby.
“Help me!” the man yells repeatedly.
“Yes, an ambulance is on the way,” someone can be heard saying in the video.
“I walked in and I saw him being tackled, man,” a person can be heard saying off camera. Kwong says the loss prevention officer has not been charged with assault and that he is waiting to hear back from investigators as to why no charge has been laid.
“Right now, there are no charges even pending,” Kwong said.
The injured man was taken to hospital with a twisted ankle, treated and released, police confirmed Sunday.
A security guard takes notes after an alleged shoplifter was injured in an interaction with a loss prevention officer at Shoppers Drug Mart at York University. (Facebook)
For its part, Shoppers Drug Mart says it plans to conduct a “thorough investigation.”
In an email, Tammy Smitham, Shoppers Drug Mart vice-president of external communication, said the company’s stores often employ third-party loss prevention officers to help deter and identify theft.
“We never encourage physical interaction between loss prevention representatives and individuals in our stores,” she said.
Boycott Shoppers, students say
“Shoppers Drug Mart is committed to diversity and to being inclusive, equitable and accessible in our interactions with each other and with customers,” she said. Licensed private security guards are regulated under Ontario’s Private Security and Investigative Services Act (2005), which includes a Code of Conduct. Under that code, licensed private security guards must “refrain from exercising unnecessary force” and “refrain from behaviour that is either prohibited or not authorized by law.”
A formal complaints process is available through the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.
“Should an individual believe licensed security personnel or companies have contravened the Private Security and Investigative Services Act or any of its regulations, the ministry may review and investigate the complaint and take appropriate action, as necessary,” spokesperson Brent Ross said.
Ross would not comment further, saying the case is before the courts.
Meanwhile, the York United Black Students’ Alliance is calling on York University community members to boycott Shoppers Drug Mart.