ToyotaSupplier.com home screen

According to Toyota, a former employee has hacked into its computer systems and stolen sensitive information.

According to an Automotive News report, Toyota filed a complaint with the U.S. District Court in Lexington, Kentucky late last week. The complaint was filed against former IT contractor Ibrahimshah Shahulhameed, who Toyota says was fired on August 23. According to the filing, Toyota indicates Shahulhameed logged on to its system the evening of his firing and downloaded and printed trade secrets.

One result of the filing is that Toyota has acquired a restraining order against Shahulhameed, prohibiting him from leaving the United States or disseminating the information that Toyota says is ill-gotten company property.

The specific area that was hacked was ToyotaSupplier.com, a site where the automaker's suppliers exchange highly sensitive information with Toyota about both current and future products.

Toyota states that it will continue to investigate the security breach and do not yet know exactly what has happened with the confidential information. There is the possibility that it may have changed hands, but according to a Toyota manufacturing spokesman, "It's too early to speculate on what-if's."

According to the court documents, Shahulhameed is an Indian citizen who was living in Georgetown, Kentucky, and was apparently about to leave for his native India.