Avanti Markets kiosks hit by malware attack, putting consumer information at risk

TUKWILA, Wash. — Avanti Markets are the latest to get hit by a malware attack.

The company’s small food and drink markets sell snacks at businesses and have served more than 1.6 million customers since the company began operations.

If you swiped your credit card at one of the Avanti kiosks between July 2nd and July 4th your personal information could have been compromised.

“At about three o’clock on the 4th of July they found some foreign file and removed it,” said John Reilly, president of Avanti Markets.

Reilly says they discovered the sophisticated malware attack affecting some kiosks. He says they don’t know the exact number but estimates the breach affected about 20% of Avanti Markets.

"It would only be in the affected markets that have the older style reader,” said Reilly.

The company says it appears the malware was designed to gather the cardholder’s first and last names, credit or debit card numbers and expiration dates.

Email addresses for customers who use the Avanti market card could have also been compromised.

Reilly says the company has been retrofitting kiosks over the past three months. If items were purchases at newer kiosks or using a thumb print, Reilly says those customers would not have been affected by the breach.

"Customers need not panic, this is not the first time it’s happened, we’ve seen it with some very, very big companies, we’re quite small in comparison,” said Reilly.

Reilly says they notified the FBI and other law enforcement agencies and shut down payment processing at some locations.

Cyber security expert Bryan Seely says this is a reality we’re all going to have get more used to.

“Until someone comes up with a better solution, we’re all probably going to have free monitoring at some point,” said Seely.

Avanti is working to offer free credit monitoring to customers.