Hackers steal customer credit card numbers from Kodiak restaurant

Online thieves have hacked into a Kodiak restaurant's computer system and stolen customers' credit and debit card numbers. Kodiak police eventually diagnosed the problem and blocked the hackers, but not before the restaurant's employees were blamed for using customers' credit card numbers, reports the Kodiak Daily Mirror (subscription required).

The Kodiak Police Department launched an investigation after receiving dozens of complaints during the past few weeks.

Some Kodiakans said fraudulent charges showed up on the East Coast. Others showed up as far away as Beijing, China. The online fraudsters typically submitted a small charge on a customer’s card to see if it would go through. If it did, larger ones were attempted.

During its investigation, the Kodiak Police Department determined the problem was El Chicano’s point of sale machine, a device that processes credit and debit cards.

"What we understand is that these types of hackers look for systems in play, and attack them," Kodiak Police Chief T.C. Kamai said. "They upload a virus that allows them to download credit card information from a business."

Kodiak police issued a community bulletin making it clear the restaurant's employees were not to blame.