Toyota Warns Customers of Data Breach Exposing Personal, Financial Info

Cyber Security Threat Summary:
Toyota Financial Services recently warned its customers about a data breach, where actors were able to gain unauthorized access to some of its systems in Europe and Africa, allowing the actors to steal sensitive personal and financial data. Medusa ransomware has claimed responsibility for the attack, demanding a 8 million ransomware be paid in exchange for the data stolen. This includes associated customer names, residence addresses, contract information, lease-purchase details, as well as IBAN bank details. Considering that the data has been leaked on the group’s site, it’s likely Toyota did not negotiate ransom payments.

Security Officer Comments:
As of writing, it’s unclear how many customers were impacted. Toyota says it is still investigating the full scope of the attack and that there is a possibility that the actors likely accessed additional information. With customer details being accessed, this poses the possibility for cybercriminals to launch targeted social engineering and phishing attacks to gain more information. As such impacted victims should be on the lookout for phishing emails and potential identity theft attempts and report suspicious activity to law enforcement authorities.

Suggested Correction(s):
Backup your data, system images, and configurations, regularly test them, and keep the backups offline: Ensure that backups are regularly tested and that they are not connected to the business network, as many ransomware variants try to find and encrypt or delete accessible backups. Maintaining current backups offline is critical because if your network data is encrypted with ransomware, your organization can restore systems.

Update and patch systems promptly: This includes maintaining the security of operating systems, applications, and firmware in a timely manner. Consider using a centralized patch management system; use a risk- based assessment strategy to drive your patch management program.

Test your incident response plan: There's nothing that shows the gaps in plans more than testing them. Run through some core questions and use those to build an incident response plan: Are you able to sustain business operations without access to certain systems? For how long? Would you turn off your manufacturing operations if business systems such as billing were offline?

Check Your Security Team's Work: Use a 3rd party pen tester to test the security of your systems and your ability to defend against a sophisticated attack. Many ransomware criminals are aggressive and sophisticated and will find the equivalent of unlocked doors.

Segment your networks: There's been a recent shift in ransomware attacks – from stealing data to disrupting operations. It's critically important that your corporate business functions and manufacturing/production operations are separated and that you carefully filter and limit internet access to operational networks, identify links between these networks and develop workarounds or manual controls to ensure ICS networks can be isolated and continue operating if your corporate network is compromised. Regularly test contingency plans such as manual controls so that safety critical functions can be maintained during a cyber incident.

Train employees: Email remains the most vulnerable attack vector for organizations. Users should be trained how to avoid and spot phishing emails. Multi Factor authentication can help prevent malicious access to sensitive services.