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Business News/ Companies / News/  Electronics brand Boat starts investigation into alleged data breach
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Electronics brand Boat starts investigation into alleged data breach

The company did not confirm if the breach in question occurred due to an internal issue, or through a misconfigured third party database

Boat, which operates under its umbrella firm Imagine Marketing, is India’s top wearable devices firm by market share.Premium
Boat, which operates under its umbrella firm Imagine Marketing, is India’s top wearable devices firm by market share.

New Delhi: Homegrown electronics brand Boat on Monday acknowledged allegations of a data breach, stating that the company is currently conducting an investigation on the issue. The breach has reportedly exposed personally identifiable information (PII) of around 7.5 million users on the internet, and could be accessible to any user willing to pay for the database.

“Boat is aware of recent claims regarding a potential data leak involving customer information. We take these claims seriously and have immediately launched a comprehensive investigation," a spokesperson for the firm said.

The company did not confirm, until press time, if the breach in question occurred due to an internal issue, or through a misconfigured third party database. Mint could not independently verify the data breach and its contents.

Media reports on Saturday cited a database of 7.5 million users registered with Boat being leaked on the internet, and subsequently put up for sale at a price of around €2 ( 180) for the entire database. Data metrics leaked in the database include the names, phone numbers, email addresses and customer identification numbers of users registered with Boat.

A senior executive at a homegrown cyber security firm told Mint on conditions of anonymity, citing conflicts of interest, that the database in question is yet to be ascertained in terms of the overall quality. “It does not just matter that there is a database with multiple entries out in the open—what matters is if the said database can be independently audited and verified. It will also be important to see if sensitive PIIs are included in this alleged leak—given that Boat sells fitness wearables," the executive said.

Boat, which operates under its umbrella firm Imagine Marketing, is India’s top wearable devices firm by market share (including true wireless earphones, smartwatches and fitness bands)—and the second-largest brand globally behind Apple. As of December, Boat accounted for 26% of 134.2 million wearable devices shipped in India in 2023. As of September, Boat registered a 9.6% market share in global wearable device shipments—thereby making its database breach a significant one to follow.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Shouvik Das
Shouvik Das reports on AI, gaming, IT services, science, space and technology policy for Mint. He also writes on consumer technologies and tech-driven cultural experiences for Lounge, Mint's weekend supplement. Every week, he hosts an irreverent weekly podcast, Techcetra. Beyond work, he is passionate about food, music, sports and travel, and is also a hobbyist photographer.
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Published: 08 Apr 2024, 08:46 PM IST
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