Hackers access personal data of 14 million Careem taxi users

Updated 23 April 2018
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Hackers access personal data of 14 million Careem taxi users

  • Careem has said there’s been no breach of customers’ payment data, but advised users to monitor their bank accounts
  • The company was aware of the hack in January, but only notified users on Monday

DUBAI: Millions of Careem customers were urged on Monday to check their bank and credit-card accounts after the taxi company admitted that cybercriminals had hacked into app users’ account details three months ago.

The company told Arab News that financial data such as bank account details had not been accessed in the breach, but that other data had, including people’s names, phone numbers and emails. 

Nevertheless, it advised customers: “Continue to review bank account and credit card statements for suspicious activity – if you see anything unexpected, call your bank.”

The security breach took place on Jan. 14, but Careem advised customers only on Monday. Raed Nesheiwat, a cyber information security expert in Amman, said the delay was a “huge” problem. 

“Hackers got all Careem’s clients and captains’ personal information. Waiting three months to reveal this to the public is completely unacceptable,” he said.

“They allowed the hackers to use that data while their clients were not aware of the breach.”

Careem told customers in an email on Monday that it had “identified a cyber incident involving unauthorized access to the system we use to store data.”

It said credit-card information remained safe, but the hackers had been able to access customers’ names, email addresses, phone numbers and trip data.

The company said it had “seen no evidence of fraud or misuse related to this incident.”

It went on: “It is our responsibility to be open and honest with you, and to reaffirm our commitment to protecting your privacy and data.”

Careem is thought to have about 14 million customers across the Middle East, all of whose data has been accessed.

A Careem call handler in Dubai told Arab News: “We wanted to make sure we had all the information before we notified customers.”

She said that on discovering the breach Careem worked with the Dubai authorities to establish what had happened.

Asked why customers were not told sooner, she said: “We did not want to alert the hackers that we were aware of the breach before the issue was fixed.”

She said no bank account details had been hacked as this data was held separately, but that other personal information as listed in the company’s email had been accessed.

On the Careem email customers were told to change their passwords and avoid opening emails and links from suspicious or unfamiliar sources.


Oil dips on rising US crude inventories, darkens economic outlook

Updated 15 August 2018
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Oil dips on rising US crude inventories, darkens economic outlook

  • US crude stocks rose by 3.7 million barrels in the week to August 10 to 410.8 million barrels
  • Sentiment was also clouded by a darkening economic outlook which could start impacting oil demand

SINGAPORE: Oil prices fell on Wednesday, pulled down by a report of increased US crude inventories and as a darkening economic outlook stoked expectations of lower fuel demand.
Front-month Brent crude oil futures were at $72.33 per barrel at 0408 GMT, down by 13 cents, or 0.2 percent, from their last close.
US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures were down 25 cents, or 0.4 percent, at $66.79 per barrel.
US crude stocks rose by 3.7 million barrels in the week to Aug. 10, to 410.8 million barrels, private industry group the American Petroleum Institute (API) said on Tuesday. Crude stocks at the Cushing, Oklahoma, delivery hub rose by 1.6 million barrels, the API said.
“Oil prices ... fell after the API inventory data showed an unexpected crude build last week,” said William O’Loughlin, investment analyst at Australia’s Rivkin Securities.
Official US fuel inventory data is due to be published later on Wednesday by the Energy Information Administration.
Sentiment was also clouded by a darkening economic outlook which could start impacting oil demand, traders said.
The OECD’s composite leading indicator, which covers the western advanced economies plus China, India, Russia, Brazil, Indonesia and South Africa, peaked in January but has since fallen and slipped below trend in May and June.
World trade volume growth also peaked in January at almost 5.7 percent year-on-year, but nearly halved to less than 3 percent by May, according to the Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
BMI Research said oil markets would “struggle for direction, as uncertainty around both the impact on supply from the Iranian sanctions and escalating trade tensions between the US and China persists.”