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

The neighborhood automotive field has been supplied a wake-up get in touch with next the the latest Optus hack – the greatest data breach in Australian historical past, in which personalized information of 9.8 million customers were stolen.


Toyota Australia has verified practically 300,000 shopper electronic mail addresses concerned in a cybersecurity flaw identified overseas does not have an effect on regional clients.

Toyota’s headquarters in Japan issued an apology on Friday, revealing an investigation by security authorities located 296,019 e mail addresses and purchaser administration numbers subscribed to the T-Join cellular application were at danger – nevertheless it couldn’t ensure nor deny no matter whether the facts experienced found its way into the fingers of scammers.

In a statement issued to Travel, a Toyota spokesperson reported the “T-Hook up units are Japan-based mostly and are not joined to any expert services we provide in Australia”.



In 2019, Toyota Australia was the subject of an attempted cyber assault – and in March 2022 a cyber attack compelled the motor vehicle large to briefly halt generation at all 14 of its Japanese factories – while no buyer details is considered to have been uncovered in possibly occasion.

Having said that, in light-weight of the modern Optus hacking scandal – in which driving licence numbers and passport particulars were compromised – worries have been lifted pertaining to what personal facts is held by automotive companies, car or truck dealerships, and connected corporations in Australia.

The director of a large Australian novated lease provider – talking on problem of anonymity – told Travel his enterprise experienced a short while ago made the selection to clear away all delicate purchaser data from its IT devices to minimise publicity to a prospective hack.



“If Optus can get hacked, we do not stand a opportunity,” the govt stated, revealing management had sat down with a cybersecurity professional in the times subsequent the telecommunication company’s info breach.

Following the Optus details breach, the Australian Automotive Dealer Association (AADA) sent a bulletin to its customers reiterating the great importance of cyber security, providing ideas on how to help protect their devices from unauthorised obtain.

Nevertheless, it is unclear which – if any – vehicle dealerships have policies to delete delicate licence specifics after new automobiles have been purchased, or right after a assistance personal loan auto has been returned.



Sam ‘Frenchie’ Stewart – CEO of Frenchie InfoSec, and former Infrastructure Security Engineer at a Silicon Valley self-driving car firm – claimed stripping needless details from IT techniques was the most effective way to steer clear of exposing sensitive information.

“While I normally really encourage individuals to be mindful about what information and facts they share online, the accountability right here lies with the corporations entrusted with the protection of that data,” Mr Stewart explained to Travel.



“[Canadian-British journalist and author] Corey Doctorow mentioned it ideal in 2008: Providers need to have to address facts like radioactive waste – only gather the absolute bare minimum individual information and facts necessary, and commit in ideal safeguards to guard the privateness of their buyers,” the cyber stability professional told Drive.

“You are not able to leak info that you you should not obtain, so I would like to see much more businesses adopting the pattern of details minimisation as a suggests of being proactive about taking shopper privacy severely,” Mr Stewart additional.

Ben Zachariah

Ben Zachariah is an knowledgeable author and motoring journalist from Melbourne, getting worked in the automotive industry for much more than 15 decades. Ben was beforehand an interstate truck driver and concluded his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is regarded as an pro in the location of classic vehicle investment.

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