‘Gone to the cleaners’: F1 season’s ‘disastrous’ finale – FT
21st Century Insurance has apologised after its website was taken offline for a week by hackers who accessed the company’s database.
The company said in a statement that it was “completely devastated” by the hack and the database was “unable to provide a comprehensive update” on the events leading up to the controversial Monaco Grand Prix.
The site went down in a matter of hours on Saturday evening and was unavailable to those with an internet connection on Monday.
In a statement on its website, the company said: “As a result of the data breach, the website was inaccessible for about two hours from Friday until Monday and the data we are able to provide has not been 100 per cent accurate.”
The website was down on Friday due to a data breach involving our company.
As a result, we were unable to provide complete information and data to the public.
“We have worked closely with the police and we apologise for the inconvenience.”
A spokesperson for the US-based insurer said it had “no information whatsoever” about the cause of the breach and it was unable to confirm any individual customer was impacted.
“We are working closely with our network partners to determine what happened, and we are working with law enforcement authorities to determine whether the data is connected to any ongoing investigations,” the spokesperson said.
The hackers targeted F1’s database of customer information, including driver names and passwords, and breached its website in December.
The database contains details of over 100 million drivers and their racing and sponsorship data.
A spokesman for the FIA confirmed the breach was one of the largest the organisation had experienced, with more than 11 million data breaches.
“It is unacceptable for any data to be accessed, used or disclosed without our prior consent,” he said in an emailed statement.
The FIA has been criticised for not doing enough to tackle the problem.
The sport’s governing body, the Fédération Internationale de l’Automobile (FIA), said last year it was investigating more than 500,000 breaches of data security in the past five years.
In March, the FIA said that it had already identified more than 20,000 of those breaches.
A spokesperson said it was not able to comment on specific cases but the “database of information in F1 is highly valuable”.