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emfizz.com December 16, 2017


Lone attacker, 20, paid by Uber to delete hacked data

08 December 2017, 12:56 | Patty Hardy

A 20-year old man from Florida is alleged to be behind the giant Uber breach of October 2016

Uber hit back at Hong Kong authorities on March 10 after five of its drivers were found guilty of operating without proper

After the hack occurred, instead of publicly announcing it, the company paid $100,000 to the hackers to delete the information.

The hacker who swiped data from more than 57 million Uber users last year was a 20-year-old Florida man who lives with his mom-and received $100,000 from the ride-share company to keep his breach secret, according to a report on Wednesday.

Reuters was unable to establish the identity of the hacker or another person who sources said helped him. Uber announced on November 21 that the personal data of 57 million users, including 600,000 drivers in the United States, were stolen in a breach that occurred in October 2016. The bounty program is meant to reward security researchers who bring bugs to the company's attention so that a fix can be put into place.

This is a bit unusual, as such bug bounty schemes are used to reward white hat hackers for discovering software vulnerabilities, and often the companies hosting them will trumpet the success and number of payouts they've made as an example of how strong and stable their code has become.

Ride-sharing cab service Uber on October 28 lost a British tribunal case brought by drivers demanding basic workers rights in a decision
Uber has weathered a number of scandals during 2017

KitGuru Says: The Uber hack was clearly handled poorly, particularly since paying off data thieves encourages others to attempt the same thing. But the company did not reveal who the hacker was or how the payment was made. "At the time of the incident", Khosrowshahi said, "we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals".

This all has a distinct whiff of bad practice about it, something which has plagued Uber of late, what with losing its London license and the rather nasty actions of former chief executive Travis Kalanick. He said the incident should have been disclosed to regulators at the time it was discovered previous year, Reuters reported. "I have always been a strong advocate for Uber's innovative technology, but if these revelations prove true, I am disgusted by this cover-up and Uber will be held accountable".

Uber is already under fire for not disclosing the hack earlier to authorities and could be hit with stiff financial penalties.

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