Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Dubai's #Careem hit by cyber attack affecting 14 million users


DUBAI (Reuters) - Careem, Uber's main ride-hailing app rival in the Middle East, was hit by a cyber attack that compromised the data of 14 million users, it said on Monday.

The company learned of the breach, in which access was gained to a computer system that stored customer and driver account information, on January 14, it said in statement.

Names, email addresses, phone numbers and trip data were stolen, though there was no evidence that passwords or credit card information - held on external third-party servers - were compromised, it said.

At the time of the attack, Careem had 14 million customers and 558,000 drivers on its platform operating in 78 cities across the region, a company spokesman told Reuters. Users who have signed up since the attack were not affected.

The company, one of the region's most prominent start-ups, apologized to its users, saying it "has learned from this experience and will come out of it a stronger and more resilient organization".

News of the attack comes at a sensitive time for Careem, as it tests investor appetite for a bid to raise as much as $500 million to fund new business lines. It completed a funding round of the same amount last year.

Careem, founded in 2012, already counts Saudi Arabia's Kingdom Holding, German carmaker Daimler and Chinese ride-hailer DiDi Chuxing among its investors.

The company has previously said it is targeting profitability in the second half of 2018. It has also said that an initial public offering is an option under consideration.

(Reporting by Katie Paul; Editing by Ghaida Ghantous and David Goodman)

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TechCrunch
Ride-hailing app Careem reveals data breach affecting 14 million people

Careem, the ride-hailing company based in Dubai, revealed today it was the victim of a cyber breach.

Hackers accessed the names, email addresses, phone numbers and trip data of anyone who signed up for Careem prior to January 14. Careem said there's no evidence the hackers accessed passwords or credit card information.

While the breach involved access to Careem's data storage system for 14 million riders and 558,800 drivers, according to Reuters, the company said it hasn't seen any evidence of fraud or misuse.

Careem said it became aware of the security incident back in January. Since then, Careem said it has conducted an investigation and strengthened its security systems.

The company waited until now to tell people because "we wanted to make sure we had the most accurate information before notifying people," the company wrote in a blog post.

"We take the protection of our customers and captains’ data very seriously," the company wrote. "We have a team of leading cybersecurity experts who have been working with external security firms to constantly monitor our systems, build and enhance our security fences, and react immediately to potential threats. In addition, we are working with law enforcement agencies."

Careem currently operates in 13 countries, which includes 90 cities. Careem says it's the leading ride-hailing app in MENA, Turkey and Pakistan.

I've reached out to Careem and will update this story if I hear back.

This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.







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