How the Williams FW43B Formula 1 car got leaked

Anything that is digitally accessible is open to leaks. Just ask Game Freak and The Pokémon Company. But this one is a little different and a lot more embarrassing.

Williams’s FW43B Formula 1 car was leaked on Friday which sucks but the worst part? One of its chief sponsors is Acronis, a cybersecurity firm. The F1 team had planned to reveal its latest car via an AR app but they had to pull it from the App Store and Google Play store, according to their official statement.

And to add insult to injury, this from CEO of Acronis, Serguei Beloussov:

“We are proud to support one of the most iconic Formula One teams on the grid. With our technology, we’re ensuring the safety, accessibility, privacy, authenticity, and security (SAPAS) of Williams Racing’s workloads, data, applications, and systems.”

Quote via sponsorship announcement

As for how they got leaked and what was taken, the hackers stole renders of the FW43B car and CAD models straight from the app. They were posted on Reddit but I won’t link to them here: do your own digging!

But there’s even more to the story.

In a response to Interesting Engineering’s original report, both Williams and Acronis said the security breach wasn’t linked to Acronis as the incident happened to a system outside of Williams’s network (which Acronis protects).

Let’s hope this has reminded both parties of the importance of security of all systems involving Williams property.

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