Toyota T-Connect Leak Impacts 296,000 Customers
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- By Steven
- Oct 12, 2022
Toyota is an international car retailer and manufacturer, and it sold about 10.5 million cars in 2021 alone. The leak has left 296,019 consumers in jeopardy and even more in question. The leak seemingly affected international customers and doesn’t look targeted to one country.
How Did the Leak Occur?
The leak resulted from a piece of source code being mistakenly posted onto GitHub, an internet hosting service, for almost five years. The code contained administrator access to an internal system of the Toyota T-Connect app. The system that bad actors may have hacked included the customer control numbers and email addresses.
What Information Was Viewed or Stolen?
The stolen information includes email addresses and customer management numbers. Toyota promised that names, credit or debit card information, and phone numbers weren’t affected. Toyota is sending apologies to the registered emails of each of the affected T-Connect users. Toyota stated there was no proof that there had been any third parties in the system, but it was “a situation that can not be completely denied.”
How Did Toyota Admit to the Breach?
Toyota admitted to the breach through a statement released on its website. The notification said numerous times throughout that the company apologized and was taking precautions to help ensure that it never repeated the mistake. The investigation is ongoing, and the company is looking into helping as many people as possible. Toyota will send individual messages to each email associated with affected individuals.
What Will Become of the Stolen Information?
There isn’t much the possible bad actor can do with your customer number, but hackers can make many attacks on your email; phishing campaigns could be the least of your worries. If a hacker gains access to your email, they can steal passwords, use them in email-based two-step verifications, or even find out how to rob your home.
If you have receipts from a plane trip or hotel room in your email, they can combine that with (likely) previously harvested information from an invoice, like your address. The hacker then knows you’re not home and can’t protect your belongings. This goes double if you order valuable items online.
What Should Affected Parties Do in the Aftermath of the Breach?
If the breach impacted you, you could easily protect yourself and your family with these simple steps. Downloading software to protect your devices and alert you to fraudulent activity is the first thing you can do to keep yourself safe. Then, monitor your emails and DO NOT OPEN anything that looks or seems suspicious.
Watch your credit scores and do your best to avoid overlooking vital signs, like repeated messages from an unknown email and grammatical mistakes. An over (or under) formal statements– family and friends seem distant, coworkers or people you don’t know well seem a bit too friendly– or stereotypical messages like, “Hey, you won a free vacation! Click the following link to find out more!” Stay aware and stay safe.