Uber paid 20-year-old man to keep data breach secret

Uber paid 20-year-old man to keep data breach secret

Uber on November 21 announced that personal data of more than 57 million users including 600,000 of its drivers in the USA, had been stolen by a breach that took place in October of 2016, and that it paid the person who hacked it $100,000 to have that information destroyed.

Uber has come under fire since disclosing the data breach last month more than a year after the fact, and the incident is now being reviewed by state and federal regulators in the USA and overseas.

Uber never revealed any information about the hacker or how it paid him the money, but it later confirmed that 2.7 million United Kingdom customers had their personal details stolen, as regulators stepped in to investigate the breach.

Uber announced on November 21 that the personal data of 57 million users, including 600,000 drivers in the United States, had been stolen in a breach that occurred in October 2016, and that it paid the hacker $100,000 to destroy the information. Uber's bug bounty service is hosted by HackerOne, a company that connects security researchers with companies. Indeed, it plays no role in payout decisions.

CEO Marten Mickos said that he could not comment on individual customers' programmes. "In all cases when a bug bounty award is processed through HackerOne, we receive identifying information of the recipient in the form of an IRS W-9 or W-8BEN form before payment of the award can be made", he said, referring to US Internal Revenue Service forms.


However, Uber did not mention anything about the person who carried out the hack or how it had paid the money to him.

Apparently, the hacker had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep his trap shut about the whole incident, and Uber sent cybersecurity boffins around to make sure the swiped data was indeed purged from his computer.

Mr Khosrowshahi fired two of the company's security officials, chief security officer Joe Sullivan and attorney Craig Clark, for their failure to disclose the breach to law enforcement at the time, instead choosing to cover it up.

Khosrowshahi was hired amid concerns about the practices and ethics of previous members of the senior management team. He stepped down as Uber CEO in June and has taken a vow of silence too. Officials for Connecticut, Illinois and MA also confirmed they're investigating the hack.

It is widely believed that CEO Travis Kalanick was aware of the breach and bug bounty payment in November of previous year.

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