Global Outage Hits McDonald’s

Widespread disruption affects ordering, payments, and the McDonald’s app.


Cyberattack Suspected

Despite company denials, experts point to signs of a potential cyberattack.


Industry Under Threat

The incident highlights growing cyber risks for restaurants and fast-food chains.

News > Cyber-Attacks > CA-General
by Kevin Wood

Global McDonald’s Outage Sparks Questions, Concerns, and Cyberattack Speculation



big mac attack?

A widespread outage across McDonald’s locations worldwide has left customers frustrated and the fast-food giant scrambling to restore systems. Reports of disrupted ordering, payment processing, and app functionality began Friday morning, with the issue persisting for several hours. While McDonald’s initially downplayed the severity of the problem, mounting evidence suggests a potentially significant disruption.

What We Know So Far

  • Global Impact: DownDetector, a website tracking online service outages, shows a surge in reports from McDonald’s customers in the U.S., Australia, Japan, the U.K., and numerous other countries.
  • Functionality Issues: Affected locations report difficulties processing orders, taking payments, and using the McDonald’s app for mobile orders and rewards.
  • Official Response: McDonald’s issued a statement acknowledging a “technology outage” and claiming the issue was “not related to a cybersecurity event.” However, many in the cybersecurity community remain skeptical.

Why a Cyberattack Is Suspected

Several factors point towards the possibility of a cyberattack, despite the company’s denial:

  • Scale and Coordination: The outage’s global scope suggests a sophisticated and well-coordinated attack if it proves to be malicious.
  • History of Breaches: McDonald’s has experienced data breaches in the past, including a 2021 incident in South Korea and Taiwan exposing customer data.
  • The Trend of Ransomware: Ransomware attacks, where hackers encrypt systems and demand payment, have become increasingly common, targeting businesses of all sizes.

The Potential Impact

Beyond immediate inconvenience, a cyberattack on McDonald’s could have ramifications including:

  • Revenue Losses: Each hour of downtime means lost sales across thousands of locations, potentially totaling millions of dollars.
  • Reputational Damage: Customers may lose trust in McDonald’s ability to protect their payment information, impacting future business.
  • Supply Chain Snags: A prolonged outage could disrupt supply deliveries and inventory management at affected restaurants.

The Industry on High Alert

The McDonald’s incident, whether a cyberattack or not, underscores the vulnerability of even the largest chains. The food and restaurant industry is increasingly targeted by cybercriminals, with smaller establishments at particularly high risk due to often limited security resources.

What’s Next

McDonald’s has stated that it is working to fix the issue, but the timeline for full system restoration remains unclear. If a cyberattack is confirmed, investigations will likely focus on determining how the breach occurred, the extent of potential data exposure, and whether any ransom demands are involved.

Staying Vigilant

This outage is a stark reminder for businesses and consumers alike. Companies must prioritize cybersecurity investments and robust backup plans to mitigate risks. Consumers should remain vigilant, monitoring their accounts for suspicious activity, and exercising caution when using payment apps, especially in the immediate aftermath of a major incident.


  • The McDonald’s outage is a wake-up call for the food and restaurant industry regarding cybersecurity threats.
  • Companies of all sizes must prioritize cybersecurity and prepare for potential attacks.
  • BBG specializes in helping restaurants and food service businesses protect their vital systems.
  • Contact us today for a security assessment: