Malware, Network Security

Misfortune cookie: Mr. Chow restaurants website hacked to distribute ransomware

If you thought too much MSG was the most dangerous thing about ordering Chinese food, consider this: the website for the upscale Mr. Chow restaurants has reportedly been compromised to deliver ransomware to visitors.

According to a blog post by Malwarebytes, hackers injected pseudo-Darkleech malware directly into the website's page, triggering a secondary ransomware infection via the Neutrino Exploit Kit. The ransomware payload is reportedly of the CrypMIC variety and as of Aug. 29 was demanding a ransom of 1.2 bitcoins or about $695. Malwarebytes also reported that the website was compromised by exploiting outdated Drupal web content management system software.

However, in an email send to, a Mr. Chow spokesperson disputed Malwarebytes' account and insists that the restaurant operator's technology team has found no trace of malware. 

The strain of CrypMIC that Malwarebytes said it observed in this case features a “help desk” section and a CAPTCHA field in which victims must enter code to access an account page with further instructions. Despite informing Mr. Chow management of the hack, the website continues to deliver ransomware as of this posting, Malwarebytes has told

UPDATE 9/1, 8 p.m.: The story has been updated to include Mr. Chow's denial of Malwarebytes' claims.

Bradley Barth

As director of multimedia content strategy at CyberRisk Alliance, Bradley Barth develops content for online conferences, webcasts, podcasts video/multimedia projects — often serving as moderator or host. For nearly six years, he wrote and reported for SC Media as deputy editor and, before that, senior reporter. He was previously a program executive with the tech-focused PR firm Voxus. Past journalistic experience includes stints as business editor at Executive Technology, a staff writer at New York Sportscene and a freelance journalist covering travel and entertainment. In his spare time, Bradley also writes screenplays.

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