For Crying Out Loud: Honda Canada Hacked

by Jordan Richardson on May 30, 2011

These hacker attacks are getting to be a bit much. Honda Canada is the latest company to announce that the personal information of customers has been stolen after its system was compromised. According to the company, 280,000 Honda and Acura customers may have had their personal information stolen.

Honda Canada says that information was related to a program that drew customers to register at the myHonda site. Hackers snagged customer names, addresses, vehicle information numbers (VINs), and some Honda Financial Services account numbers. In trying to downplay the attack’s ramifications, Honda noted that the information stolen wasn’t the sort of stuff typically used by identity thieves. Feel better?

“Honda sincerely apologizes for this incident and we are working diligently to protect your information and improve our data security procedures,” the company said. “Honda does not share its customer information with unauthorized third parties and does not contact customers asking for financial information.”

Tom Keenan, a computer security expert and professor at the University of Calgary, agrees that the breach wasn’t as bad as it could have been because the hackers didn’t get credit card information. The problem, he says, is that crooks can use information from breaches such as this to press customers for more vital data. “It all goes into a kind of identity theft possibility because if you know enough about a person who might be able to establish enough credentials to start credit in their name,” says Keenan.

Obviously this breach occurred for a reason. It opens the door for some potential scams. “You could tell people that there is something wrong with their car that needs to be fixed, but before they bring it in, could they in good faith send you some money,” says Richard Rosenberg, a professor emeritus at UBC and computer security expert.

The failure of major corporations to protect consumer information has been hard to ignore as of late. There are clearly a number of security issues related to how these companies do business, as they have proven to be generally incapable of ensuring the security of customer data. With these sorts of breaches putting information out in the open, it’s hard to feel particularly safe with respect to mobile payment projects and other sorts of technological “advances” that relate to consumer finances and privacy.

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Written by: Jordan Richardson. www.digitcom.ca. Follow TheTelecomBlog.com by: RSS, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube.

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