Toyota’s US manufacturing arm, Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America Inc., is accusing a fired IT contractor of breaking into its proprietary plans for parts prices and designs, downloading the information and sabotaging its internal computer software. Toyota filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Lexington, Ky., against Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed.
The court has granted Toyota’s request to grant a restraining order, preventing Shahulhameed from disseminating trade secrets or from leaving the United States. Toyota said in its complaint that if the stolen information were distributed to its rivals or were made public, it would cause immediate and irreparable damage to the company and its suppliers.
According to Toyota, Shahulhameed worked for GlobalSource IT. Rick Hesterberg, Toyota manufacturing spokesman, remarked that the company is still investigating the security breach, adding that the carmaker has yet to gain knowledge on what has happened with the confidential information, particularly on whether it may have changed hands.
Hesterberg, however, said that the company currently does not believe that any supplier data or its proprietary company information has been disseminated. Asked on what the company may do if ever the proprietary company information was disseminated to a rival or to the public, Hesterberg quipped that it is too early to speculate on what-if's.