Even Starbucks has technology that's vulnerable to cyber attack.

With Starbucks app vulnerability, more proof that protection is key

Stephen Perkins

These days it seems that even the biggest names in the business and tech world aren't impervious to vulnerabilities in their data. First, there was the Snapchat hack that left 4.6 million accounts exposed. Then there was the news that Target and Neiman Marcus were victims of massive breaches that collected millions of credit card numbers.  Now, you can add Starbucks to that list – a list that points to the importance of having a data protection plan that matches your data storage needs by not exposing your business to similar attacks.

Fortunately for Starbucks, a breach of its data on the scale of Snapchat or Target hasn't happened yet – but security researcher Daniel Wood said that could still be in store for the company. Wood discovered a vulnerability in Starbucks' iOS app, which basically turns your smartphone into a credit card on which you can reload funds from PayPal, ThreatPost reported. According to Wood, the vulnerability lies in the part of the app that handles crash recovery. There, Wood found that users' data is often stored in plain text, which would appear as clear bait for hackers who  would merely have to plug the information in to gain control of user accounts.

Installing an update
Despite initially dismissing as "very far fetched" the possibility of an attack through the avenue Wood discovered, Starbucks has nevertheless updated the app, according to Forbes. Starbucks CIO Curt Garner said the update didn't mean the system had been compromised, but instead pointed to the organization's strong commitment to good customer relations.  "We take these types of concerns seriously and have added several safeguards to protect the information you share with us."

By implementing a data protection plan that offers good strong security measures, businesses can actively prevent a breach from impacting their operations. 

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