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Millions of Honda owners victims of data breach

Honda warns more than 2 million of its U.S. customers that an e-mail database containing their names, e-mail addresses, and in some cases vehicle identification numbers, has been stolen.

Carmaker Honda is warning more than 2 million of its customers in the U.S. that an e-mail database containing some of their personal information has been stolen.

It's not yet 100 percent clear if this breach is connected to the recent breach of the e-mail marketing firm Silverpop Systems, but it sure looks that way. Honda was an enthusiastic Silverpop customer as recently as 2009, according to this press release. It's the same company whose data was breached in thefts of customer data from McDonald's and deviantArt. A similar incident was reported concerning the drugstore chain Walgreen's, but it hasn't been tied specifically to Silverpop.

The list contained the names, login names, e-mail addresses and--get this--vehicle identification numbers of more than 2 million Honda owners. Another list, this one containing only the e-mail addresses of nearly 3 million Acura owners, was also taken.

Honda has contacted all the customers via e-mail. The worry is that affected owners, especially those on the list with the VINs, may be targeted for some kind of phishing attack. Imagine getting an e-mail from someone pretending to be your local Honda dealer who correctly identifies the car you just bought and asks you to give up more personal information so that you can get "special offers."