Subway Restaurants Rocked By POS Hackers

March 15, 2013

In a federal Indictment that was unsealed on March 15, 2013, in Boston, MA, federal prosecutors allege that sometime around 2011, Shahin Abdollahi, aka "Sean Holdt," 46, of Lake Elsinore, CA, and Jeffrey Thomas Wilkinson, 35, of Rialto, CA, conspired to remotely hack into point-of-sale ("POS") systems in Subway restaurant franchises around the country; and, in fact, apparently managed to hack into at least 13 Subway POS systems. These systems allow merchants to manage customer purchases made by credit, debit and gift cards.

Okay, that's bad enough.  I mean what's the world coming to when that Footlong special comes with a large side order of computer bugs?

What's even more enfuriating is that theIndictment alleges that from 2005 to 2008, Abdollahi owned a number of Southern CaliforniaSubway franchises. Also, Abdollahi operated a business called "POS Doctor."

So - guess: To whom do you think POS Doctor sold POS systems to?

Turns out that POS Doctor sold and installed systems to Subway restaurant franchises in the good old USA.

And what did this computer sandwich franchise conspiracy achieve by all this high-tech crap?  Apparently the conspirators fraudulently added at least $40,000 in value to Subway gift cards, which they then used to make purchases at Subway (and Wilkinson is further charged with selling fraudulent gift cards over eBay and Craigslist.)

Abdollahi and Wilkinson were both charged with one count of conspiracy to commit computer intrusion and wire fraud, and one count of wire fraud.

NOTE: The charges contained in an Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

You think this is an isolated scam? READ: Subway Restaurant Hacking Ends With Prison Terms