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The Automobile Fiasco

It’s the worst kept secret in the world that America’s cybersecurity structure is currently having a meltdown. The nonstop digital attacks have left the country’s core sectors deflated. As if the impact of a global pandemic wasn’t enough, US now seem to be hobbling with a broken digital setup too. Even though the country has been desperately waiting for some good news on this front, last week another cyberattack took place to add insult to their injury. However, this one had more to do with victim’s carelessness, than being another testimony of country’s exploitable cybersecurity policies. Last week, the automobile giant, Volkswagen America announced one of their vendors left its system open for 2 whole years before it was finally noticed that the said system has been breached. The incident happened in Volkswagen’s luxury automobile subsidiary, Audi. It becomes an even more intriguing case when you get to know that the company was totally unaware of the breach until TechCrunch reporter, Zack Whittaker pointed it out.

If reports are to be believed, then this cyberattack has resulted in data of 3.3 million drivers getting leaked. 97% of the customers hit by this leak saw their basic personal details landing into the hands of unscrupulous third-parties. Nevertheless, an estimated 90,000 Audi customers were subjected to outright grave damage, as they had their sensitive information like social security numbers, driver’s license numbers, account or loan numbers, and tax identification numbers leaked and accessed by cybercriminals.

A major point on which Volkswagen is being criticized is that the company was alerted about the breach in March, but there was no effort whatsoever to notify the affected customers or to limit the damage this leak eventually went on to do. The company is still yet to provide any sort of comment from their end, and customers are now getting increasingly agitated, and rightly so. These customers are now at a high risk of getting targeted by phishing attacks. Apart from it, there is a strong chance of them getting exploited through nullification of their vehicle’s security system, thus posing an even greater financial threat.

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