In a major development, Careem, the popular ride-hailing service operating in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey, and Pakistan, through a security announcement has reported a cybersecurity breach targeting its customers and captain's data.
Personal data including the customers' name, email address, phone number and trip data has been hacked.
The company has urged drivers and customers to update their passwords, look out for any unsolicited communication, avoid clicking links or downloading attachments from unfamiliar emails and review bank account statements for any suspicious activity.
Careem said that when the data breach was detected in January, there were 14 million customers and 558,000 captains active on the system across 13 countries.
The ride-hailing company says it has seen no evidence of fraud or misuse related to this incident, taking responsibility for being open and honest about the cyber attack with consumers. "Customers and captains who have signed up with us since that date are not affected", the company said in a statement.
The company apologized for the breach, adding that it remains "dedicated to our mission of supporting the millions of drivers and customers in the region who depend on Careem to earn a living and get around".
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Our services are very much in operation and we look forward to your next Careem. We are also working with law enforcement agencies.
When asked if the customers' credit card details and passwords were compromised, Careem responded that there was no evidence that passwords or credit card numbers were compromised. "Use a strong mix of characters, and try not to use the same password for multiple sites", the handout read.
We take the protection of our customers and captains' data very seriously.
So this means that while your credit card information isn't hacked, as per the company, there still is a chance that it may be compromised so you need to be vigilant. For any queries, you can contact Careem's team at firstname.lastname@example.org. The company claims that it waited until now to publicize the incident because it "wanted to make sure we had the most accurate information before notifying people".
Careem, in a statement, said, "an internal security team engaged leading cybersecurity experts to investigate the issue and strengthen our security systems to protect us against further attack".