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Volvo Loses R&D Data After Cyberattack and Operations Could Be Affected

Volvo disclosed this December 10 that it has been the victim of a cyberattack. According to the company, “one of its file repositories has been illegally accessed by a third party,” and part of its R&D (research and development) data was stolen.
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Volvo stated that “there may be an impact on the company’s operation” due to the missing data, but it did not specify how it would affect the company. Considering it relates to R&D, our guess is that it may have to redo multiple tests if Volvo does not have a backup for the information. That may delay the presentation of new vehicles, such as the Volvo Embla, the XC90’s successor.

The Swedish carmaker said that it “immediately implemented security countermeasures including steps to prevent further access to its property” and that it warned the relevant authorities about the invasion. Unfortunately, Volvo did not disclose if it was a ransomware case or if the hackers demanded money to give the information back, for example.

According to the company, data from its customers was apparently not affected by the theft, but that’s only the preliminary conclusion it could reach with the information it has so far about the invasion. Volvo’s first assessment of the situation also determined that the hackers only managed to steal “a limited amount of the company's R&D property.”

Apart from fully understanding the impacts of the data breach, Volvo has to determine how crucial this limited amount of data is for the company’s plans. Delaying new vehicle presentations may have a very negative impact, imposing that Volvo keeps on selling vehicles it planned to phase out soon.

The Swedish automaker will certainly update us when it has a comprehensive idea of what happened. Data safety specialists will have a lot of work in the next few weeks, both preventing new attacks and getting the whole picture of this particular invasion.

press release
 
 
 
 
 

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