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Restaurant conglomerate discloses payment card breach

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Landry’s Inc., which owns and operates restaurant chains including Landry’s Seafood, Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. and Morton’s The Steakhouse, said it has received reports of unauthorized charges on certain payment cards used in some of its restaurants.

The Houston-based firm said in a statement Thursday that it does not yet know the scope of the incident and has hired a cyber security firm to investigate the matter.

It said it appears the issue may involve data contained in the magnetic stripe in the back of payment cards, whose information generally includes a cardholder’s name, card number, expiration date and internal verification code.

The company said in its statement that it has begun implementing an enhanced payment system that encrypts card data throughout the processing system.

A company spokesman could not be reached for further comment.

Earlier this year the chief operating officer of the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas said hackers had obtained credit and debit card information from its customers over a seven-month period that ended April 2.