from the utterly-oblivious dept
Chipotle has been making headlines lately for all the wrong reasons. While justifiably lauded for its efforts at embracing more sustainable agriculture, the restaurant is currently in the aftermath of a massive E. Coli outbreak in Washington and Oregon that resulted in dozens of illnesses and hospitalizations. And while the CDC’s ongoing investigation of that outbreak is grabbing most of the public’s attention, the company’s quietly been caught up in another, less noticed snafu involving a total lack of fundamental, security common sense.
Apparently, Chipotle?s human resources department has been replying to new job applicants using the “chipotlehr.com” domain. The problem? This is a domain that the company neither owns nor controls, meaning that anybody could nab it for themselves and, with minimal effort, begin harvesting applicant data while posing as Chipotle. While the messages sent to applicants from this domain urge them not to respond to the e-mail, the fact that an unowned domain is being used for communications still remains obviously problematic:
“Kohlman has since offered to freely give over the domain to the restaurant chain. But Chipotle expressed zero interest in acquiring the free domain. In fact, Chipotle?s spokesman Chris Arnold says the company doesn?t see this as a big deal at all.
“The chipotlehr.com domain is not a functional address and never has been,? Arnold wrote in an emailed statement. ?It never had any operational significance, and never served to solicit or accept any kind of response. So there has never been a security risk of any kind associated with this. That address is being changed to careers.chipotle.com (a domain that we do own), but this has never been functional and is really a non-issue.?
That’s a $3.5 billion company showing it has zero understanding of security. At all. The fact that it lacked “operational significance” is totally irrelevant. All a hacker would need to do is register the domain, begin replying to recipients, and direct them to even a crude facsimile of a real Chipotle website. From there, it would have been trivial to farm applicants for all manner of personal data, including addresses, phone numbers, and social security numbers. The proper response from Chipotle to somebody highlighting this and offering the domain for free? Thank you.