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By Mike Hughlett, Star Tribune (Minneapolis)

Dairy Queen has become the latest victim of computer hackers bent on pilfering customers’ credit and debit card information.

The Edina, Minn.-based ice cream and fast-food chain confirmed Wednesday that “customer data at a limited number of stores may be at risk.”

The company didn’t disclose how many customers or how many stores were affected.

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

Dairy Queen’s acknowledgment came after the website Krebs on Security, which is run by cybersleuth Brian Krebs, reported a possible breach at DQ. Citing unnamed sources, Krebs wrote that a pattern of fraud suggests some DQ stores were compromised as early as June.

Dairy Queen has several thousand stores in North America, and is owned by Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.

In a statement, Dairy Queen said “the protection of customer data is a top priority for us and our franchisees, and we take it seriously.” The company said that it had been notified recently along with many other companies of a data breach due to the spread of “Backoff” malware.

On Friday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security said that more than 1,000 U.S. retailers could be stricken with Backoff, malware — short for malicious software — discovered last October. Both United Parcel Service and Supervalu appear to have also been hit by the bug, which burrows into retail point-of-sale systems.

Eden Prairie-based Supervalu warned on Aug. 16 that hackers had breached its computer systems, which contained customer information from 1,016 grocery and liquor stores around the country, including 60 outlets in Minnesota. Supervalu, which owns the Cub Foods chain, said its computers were hacked between June 22 and July 17.

Minneapolis-based Target Corp. fell prey to a huge data breach during the 2013 holiday shopping period. It exposed the financial and personal data of 70 million customers, costing the retailer around $150 million so far.

Michaels Stores, Neiman Marcus, and P.F. Chang’s are among other large national retailers hit by cyberthieves in recent months.

Photo: StormKat via Flickr

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President Trump boards Air Force One for his return flight home from Florida on July 31, 2020

Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

Florida senior residents have been reliable Republican voters for decades, but it looks like their political impact could shift in the upcoming 2020 election.

As Election Day approaches, Florida is becoming a major focal point. President Donald Trump is facing more of an uphill battle with maintaining the support of senior voters due to his handling of critical issues over the last several months. Several seniors, including some who voted for Trump in 2016, have explained why he will not receive their support in the November election.

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