Toyota data breach: Australia safe for now as car industry gets wake-up call

The neighborhood automotive marketplace has been provided a wake-up call following the current Optus hack – the premier knowledge breach in Australian record, in which private facts of 9.8 million shoppers were stolen.


Toyota Australia has verified practically 300,000 purchaser e mail addresses concerned in a cybersecurity flaw found overseas does not have an affect on community customers.

Toyota’s headquarters in Japan issued an apology on Friday, revealing an investigation by security experts located 296,019 e-mail addresses and purchaser management figures subscribed to the T-Connect cell app were at threat – nevertheless it could not affirm nor deny whether or not the information and facts had identified its way into the fingers of scammers.

In a assertion issued to Travel, a Toyota spokesperson explained the “T-Connect methods are Japan-based and are not linked to any services we offer you in Australia”.



In 2019, Toyota Australia was the matter of an tried cyber assault – and in March 2022 a cyber attack forced the auto huge to temporarily halt manufacturing at all 14 of its Japanese factories – even though no shopper data is considered to have been uncovered in both instance.

However, in gentle of the modern Optus hacking scandal – in which driving licence quantities and passport particulars were being compromised – problems have been elevated relating to what individual details is held by automotive firms, vehicle dealerships, and affiliated firms in Australia.

The director of a substantial Australian novated lease service provider – speaking on ailment of anonymity – advised Drive his enterprise experienced a short while ago created the final decision to clear away all sensitive purchaser data from its IT techniques to minimise publicity to a prospective hack.



“If Optus can get hacked, we never stand a chance,” the govt mentioned, revealing management experienced sat down with a cybersecurity skilled in the times following the telecommunication company’s data breach.

Following the Optus knowledge breach, the Australian Automotive Supplier Affiliation (AADA) despatched a bulletin to its customers reiterating the relevance of cyber safety, delivering tips on how to aid defend their methods from unauthorised access.

Even so, it is unclear which – if any – motor vehicle dealerships have policies to delete delicate licence information following new cars have been purchased, or just after a services bank loan vehicle has been returned.



Sam ‘Frenchie’ Stewart – CEO of Frenchie InfoSec, and previous Infrastructure Safety Engineer at a Silicon Valley self-driving car company – claimed stripping needless information from IT units was the very best way to keep away from exposing delicate details.

“While I usually really encourage consumers to be mindful about what data they share on the internet, the obligation right here lies with the providers entrusted with the security of that data,” Mr Stewart advised Drive.



“[Canadian-British journalist and author] Corey Doctorow explained it finest in 2008: Businesses will need to address information like radioactive waste – only acquire the complete minimum particular data necessary, and devote in correct safeguards to shield the privacy of their customers,” the cyber stability expert instructed Generate.

“You cannot leak information that you don’t gather, so I would like to see more providers adopting the trend of info minimisation as a suggests of getting proactive about getting customer privateness critically,” Mr Stewart included.

Ben Zachariah

Ben Zachariah is an experienced author and motoring journalist from Melbourne, owning labored in the automotive business for extra than 15 many years. Ben was beforehand an interstate truck driver and done his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is regarded as an qualified in the area of basic auto financial commitment.

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