Company News

Rutter’s Experiences Data Breach

Retailer removes malware installed on payment processing systems
Photograph: Shutterstock

YORK, Pa. — Rutter's has notified its customers of a data breach involving payment cards used at some of its nearly 80 convenience stores. The notice follows Wawa’s announcement in December of a similar data breach.

Rutter's recently received a report from a third party suggesting there may have been unauthorized access to data from payment cards that were used at some locations, the company said. Rutter's launched an investigation and engaged cybersecurity firms to assist. Rutter's also notified law enforcement.

On Jan. 14, 2020, the investigation identified evidence indicating that an unauthorized actor may have accessed payment card data from cards used on point-of-sale (POS) devices at some fuel pumps and inside some Rutter’s c-stores through malware installed on the payment processing systems. That malware has been removed, the company said.

The malware searched for track data (which sometimes has the cardholder name in addition to card number, expiration date and internal verification code) read from a payment card as it was being routed through the payment processing systems. Chip-enabled (EMV) POS terminals are used inside Rutter’s stores, however. EMV cards generate a unique code that is validated for each transaction, and the code cannot be reused. As a result, for EMV cards inserted into the chip reader on the EMV POS devices in the stores, only card number and expiration date (and not the cardholder name or internal verification code) were involved.

The malware did not copy data from all of the payment cards used during the period that it was present on a given payment processing system, the company said. There is no indication that it accessed other customer information. This incident is not the result of a handheld "skimmer" being placed on a Rutter's fuel pump, it said.

Payment card transactions at Rutter's car washes, ATMs and lottery machines in Rutter's stores were not involved, the retailer said.

The specific time frames when data from cards used at the locations involved may have been accessed vary by location over the general period beginning Oct. 1, 2018, through May 29, 2019. There is one location where access to card data may have started Aug. 30, 2018, and nine additional locations where access to card data may have started as early as Sept. 20, 2018, the company said.

Rutter’s has posted a list of the locations involved and specific time frames on its website. For customers Rutter's can identify as having used their card at a location involved during that location's specific time frame and for whom Rutter's has a mailing address or email address, Rutter's will mail them a letter or send them an email about the breach.

“Rutter’s takes the security of payment card data very seriously,” the company said in a notice posted on its website. “We regret this incident occurred and sincerely apologize for any inconvenience. Our family has been in business for over 273 years in central Pennsylvania, and we sincerely appreciate all of our loyal customers through the decades. Our award-winning team is ready to serve our valued customers, as we move forward from this incident.”

York, Pa.-based CHR Corp., doing business as Rutter's, has 76 locations in Pennsylvania, Maryland and West Virginia. The company is No. 96 on CSP's 2019 Top 202 ranking of the largest c-store chains in the United States.

Want breaking news at your fingertips?

Get today’s need-to-know convenience industry intelligence. Sign up to receive texts from CSP on news and insights that matter to your brand.

Related Content


More from our partners