Volkswagen has suffered a data breach affecting 3.3 million customers after a vendor exposed unprotected data online.
The Volkswagen Group of America is a subsidiary of the German Volkswagen Group in North America. It is responsible for the US and Canadian operations of Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti and Lamborghini.
according to for notifications to break Data submitted to the Attorney General’s Office in California and Maine, VWGoA revealed that a vendor left unprotected data exposed online between August 2019 and May 2021.
On March 20, VWGoA was notified by the seller that an unauthorized person had gained access to the data and may have obtained customer information for Audi, Volkswagen and some authorized dealers.
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VWGoA states that the breach involved 3.3 million customers. More than 97 percent of those affected relate to Audi customers and interested buyers.
The data exposed varies for each customer. But it can range from contact information to more sensitive information, such as Social Security numbers and loan numbers.
The data included some or all of the following contact information: first and last name, personal or business mailing address, e-mail address or telephone number.
In some cases, the data also included information about the vehicle purchased or rented. Such as the vehicle identification number, model, year, color, and part packages.
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A security breach that annoys Volkswagen:
The data also included more sensitive information regarding eligibility to buy, loan or rent. More than 95 percent of the sensitive data included were driver’s license numbers.
There were also very few birth dates, Social Security, insurance numbers, account or loan numbers, and tax identification numbers.
For the 90,000 customers whose more sensitive information has been exposed, Volkswagen offers free credit protection and monitoring services, including $1 million in identity theft insurance.
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VWGoA has begun notifying affected customers and potential customers by mail. With alerting customers of suspicious emails, calls or texts.
Given that Audi and Volkswagen’s data has been unprotected for so long, there is no indication how many people have gained unauthorized access.
Therefore, all communications claiming to be from the company should be treated suspiciously. Especially emails or SMS messages.
However, Volkswagen’s letter did not say whether the company had evidence of misuse of data disclosed by the seller.
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