Major car rental company Sixt has been hit by a cyber-attack that has disrupted its operations around the world, including in the UK.
According to the company, Sixt’s IT security detected irregularities in its systems on April 29th.
In response, the company implemented its security procedures, containing the breach at an early stage. This included restricting access to its IT systems imitating its pre-planned recovery processes.
Sixt also says it reported the breach to the relevant authorities and regulators.
At present, the company has not disclosed the exact nature of the attack – whether the cyber-attack involved ransomware or other malware, or how the actors entered their system.
According to the company, its central systems, in particular its website and apps, were kept up and running.
“Thereby, impacts on the company, its operations and services have been minimized to provide business continuity for customers,” a company statement said.
However, the cyber-attack also means Sixt suffered temporary disruptions, in particular, to its customer care centres and selective branches.
There are reports that several branches in Germany have been forced to use pen and paper to take bookings. In addition, some UK customers have been unable to contact the company via phone or email – phone lines for the German head office appeared to be disconnected, while UK phone lines rang out.
German customers who called their phone heard a pre-recorded message: “Due to a technical problem, we are currently unavailable and can only process e-mail inquiries with a delay.”
Some customers reported being unable to receive roadside assistance.
“Sixt is taking this incident seriously and has implemented a thorough investigation with internal and external experts. Sixt will provide further updates as soon as more information is available and asks customers for their understanding and patience,” the company noted.
Sixt has also said that it does not believe any customer data was accessed or exfiltrated in the breach, and that it will notify customers if those understandings change.
A series of cyber-attacks have hit several different groups in recent months – Funky Pigeon, The Works, and KP Snacks have all had their operations disrupted due to breaches.
These have all seen customers faced with delays, inaccessible systems, or unfulfilled orders. While customer data has generally remained safe, it demonstrates that even a relatively benign attack can still have major repercussions.
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