Cyber-attack hits 600,000 car-sharing customers

December 01, 2016

Thousands of former customers of a German car-sharing website have had their bank account details stolen by hackers.

The announcement was made by Comuto Deutschland and relates to archived data of two car-sharing platforms which stopped trading in March 2016 - and

The company says the attack focused on cloud-based data and did not affect the servers of sister ride-sharing platform BlaBlaCar, which has 35 million members across 22 countries.

The archives contain about 638,000 account numbers, 101,000 email addresses and 15,000 mobile phone numbers, as well as partial names and addresses. Comuto Deutschland says about 15% of records are affected.

A Comuto Deutschland statement called the attack ‘a great shock’ and said it had informed the police. It is also reviewing its data security, particularly for information stored in cloud-based servers.

It added: ‘In case of suspicious debiting, [customers] should immediately inform their bank, which can advise them further.’

The automotive industry is focusing on cyber-security as millions of connected cars will be sold over the next decade. The connected car services market will be worth €1 trillion annually by 2030, according to KPMG.

Manufacturers are under pressure to maximise security following recent high-profile hacking cases affecting connected cars.

Experts warn that cars could be exposed to hacking and malware attacks through their connection to the internet or during servicing when software systems are being updated.

In response, companies are stepping up security and testing for potential loopholes. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles recently launched a scheme to pay computer hackers every time they uncover potential cyber-security flaws.

A spokesman for car2go, the Daimler-owned car-sharing service, which has more than 2 million members, said: ‘Data security is a top priority at car2go. Therefore, we take several measures to protect costumer data. We cannot give any details on these measures.’

DriveNow, the BMW and Sixt-owned car-sharing company, which has more than 600,000 registered users, said: ‘Security measures are continuously adapted in accordance with technological developments. The transfer of any personal data between the customer´s computer or mobile device and our server is always encrypted.’

Detailed analysis of the future opportunities and threats of connected cars…

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