Volkswagen and its luxury brand Audi have been hacked, resulting in the personal data of three million customers being stolen.
Volkswagen and Audi have been hit by a data breach that has exposed contact information and in some cases personal details including driver license numbers of customers in the United States and Canada, according to a report by CNN Business.
The company says that more than three million customers or shoppers have had at least their basic contact information stolen from an outside company that worked with the automakers.
The stolen data includes phone numbers, email addresses, mailing addresses and, for some people, their vehicle identification numbers.
Volkswagen has reportedly already reached out to 90,000 people in the United States — most of whom are Audi customers or shoppers — who have had the most sensitive information taken, most of which includes driver’s license numbers.
In some cases, customers’ Social Security numbers, Volkswagen or Audi account numbers, and dates of birth have been compromised as a result of the hack.
Volkswagen added that the data breach even compromised information belonging to people who had merely inquired about buying an Audi or Volkswagen vehicle.
The company is now offering free credit protection to people who have had very sensitive information stolen.
“We regret any inconvenience this may cause our current or potential customers,” Volkswagen USA said in a statement. “As always, we recommend that individuals remain alert for suspicious emails or other communications that might ask them to provide information about themselves or their vehicle.”
Volkswagen explained that the stolen data involves information the company had collected and saved for marketing purposes between 2014 and 2019. The information had been left in an unsecured file, giving hackers the opportunity to strike.