Car Breathalyzer Maker Acknowledges Data Leak

January 11, 2016, 11:07 PM UTC
Bill Chastain, State Director with LifeSafer, demonstrates a breath alcohol ignition interlock device during a "Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over" press conference announcing a holiday crack-down on drunk and drugged driving December 17, 2013 in Washington, DC. AFP PHOTO/Paul J. Richards (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
Photograph by Paul J. Richards — AFP/Getty Images

Internal data from LifeSafer, a company that makes breathalyzers for cars, appear to have spilled online.

“We have discovered unauthorized access to certain company information,” said Charles Loepp, a LifeSafer spokesman told Fortune in an email. “As soon as we became aware of the situation, we launched an immediate investigation and are working closely with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and a leading forensics IT firm to investigate the threat and protect any information at risk.”

A hacker uploaded about 150 megabytes worth of apparently stolen spreadsheets, instruction manuals, and design schematics to hacking forum Hell, reported Vice Motherboard on Sunday. The size of the cache is trifling in comparison to the hundreds of gigabytes leaked during the late 2014 Sony Pictures Entertainment hacking, or to the tens of gigabytes disseminated during last year’s Ashley Madison data dump, but it does contain indisputably valuable loot—including alleged source code from the company’s products.

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The hacker, who goes by “ROR[RG],” seems to have released the data in three installments, according to Vice Motherboard‘s Joseph Cox, who inferred, based on dates contained within the data’s directory, that “a small amount of it was uploaded on Jan. 7, followed by two larger dumps on Jan. 9.” Judging from a note the hacker had written on the forum—”pay up or get fucked!”—the hacking may have been an attempt at extortion.

LifeSafer, founded in 1991, is owned by LMG Holdings, which owns two similar companies called Guardian and Monitech. All three companies manufacture breathalyzers that help prevent inebriated drivers from operating vehicles. LifeSafer claims on its website that its FC100 device (see the photo above) is the most widely used of its kind in the U.S. with more than 70,000 installations of its devices across 46 states.

WATCH: For more on alcohol consumption see our Fortune video.

Some jurisdictions, such as the state of New York, mandate that a person convicted of driving while intoxicated install these devices in their automobiles for a period of time.

“Based on our ongoing investigation, this does not include any client financial information and there is no evidence at this time that any information has been used to engage in identity theft,” the company said. The spokesman did not immediately say whether the company was the victim of an extortion scheme.

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