Late Monday afternoon, vehicle accident and history reporting service Carfax reported a substantial information leak that could affect 40-50 million US vehicles.
Carfax, known throughout the country as the foremost provider of vehicle accident history reports for both dealers and prospective buyers, reports that the breach occurred due to hacking by Eastern European organized crime syndicates.
Motives for the hack are still unclear, but some used car buyers have already reported questionable results appearing in their Carfax reports. Most notably, the accident and repair histories for all Lada, Yugo, Skoda, and Trabant vehicles have been conspicuously deleted, while more mainstream vehicles like Honda, Toyota, and Nissan have been peppered with incorrect accident reports and red flags for reliability issues.
“This appears to be an old trick known as the Budapest Pump & Dump,” according to cybersecurity consultant Michael Lopez of the National Security Agency. “A small group of perpetrators will hack into systems and favorably alter the online reputation of products in which they have a stake, conversely hurting their competition in the same operation.” Mr. Lopez continued “It doesn’t necessarily mean the Hungarians are responsible, it’s just common terminology, like ‘Helsinki Syndrome’ or ‘Cleveland Steamer.’”
Carfax has promised to rectify the issue and has already fired its spokespuppet, “Car Fox,” who has been with the firm for just over five years. “We have parted with Car Fox on amicable terms and wish him well.” Car Fox later tweeted to his 180,000 followers “Retiring from @Carfax after a good run. Can’t wait to spend more time with besties @GeicoGecko and @SnuggleBear. Love you all XOXOXO!” Other observers were not so upbeat, including Carfax’s renowned activist investor Karl Icon, who tweeted “@Carfox good riddance! Who’s hand has been up your b*tt all these years?”
Indian car magnate Ratan Tata was temporarily the world’s wealthiest man as the value of his holdings in Jaguar-Land Rover increased more than tenfold as their histories were wiped clean. However, the value returned to normal negative territory once investors learned they were the result of the Carfax hack.
President Trump tweeted in response, “Great work by the @NSA today! European cars can’t beat @Chevy @Ford we have the bigliest auto industry the envy of the world. The world.” When pressed about possibility of Russian collusion in the hack, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders simply replied that her late model Audi was for sale with a clean Carfax and no known maintenance issues, adding “I know what I have, no lowballers.”