Williams Racing Formula One Team Suffers Cybersecurity Attack

The planned launch of the new Williams Racing Formula One team car was disrupted following a data leak incident that accessed the back end of the augmented reality application created by the team.

The application, which should showcase the new car, was hacked by threat actors and leak the content online. The FW43B Formula One car had its chance to get crowned the winner for 2021’s F1 season. Williams has decided to pull out the virtual application last minute on the app stores due to the breach.

Experts are citing how this event can happen, even though one of Williams’ sponsors is a cybersecurity firm—Acronis.

Williams Racing Formula One Team Suffers Cybersecurity Attack

“Williams Racing planned to reveal its 2021 challenger, the FW43B, via an augmented reality app later today March 5, however, sadly, because the app was hacked prior to launch, this will no longer be possible,” said Williams.

The team has removed the application from both Apple App Store and Android Google Play Store in response. According to reports, the hack uses an extracting method that renders from the VR app. This lacks the cybersecurity features needed to protect the content.

The app gave users early and unrestricted access to the renders of the new FW43B and the livery, in addition to the CAD models of the machine—totally reckless leak. Williams’ partnership with Acronis was put to test, as it got into the unfortunate hacking incident under their noses.

Hackers took the information from the application, leak the image of the car online even before the scheduled launch. In the leaked image, the car has a blue, white, and yellow color scheme to represent glory during the 1980s and 1990s.

Despite this, Acronis stressed how these types of incidents can be avoided with the right technology and security in place.

“With our technology, we’re ensuring the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) of Williams Racing’s workloads, data, applications, and systems. We can deliver the highest calibre of cyber protection, keeping the team’s data tamper-free,” said CEO Serguei Beloussov.

Acronis also made an announcement over the recent incident, saying that the compromise on the augmented reality application that prevented Williams from launching the FW43B car, was outside of the in-house systems and networks.

This means Acronis isn’t responsible for the breach, as it only looks into the in-house systems and networks.