Monday, 18 December, 2017

Uber Paid Man to Keep Breach Secret

Uber paid to keep data breach secret: report 20-year-old Florida man was behind Uber hack: report
Laurie Berry | 07 December, 2017, 17:56

Rewards for identifying bugs in code are more normally in the range of $5,000 - $10,000.

Uber on November 21 announced that personal data of more than 57 million users including 600,000 of its drivers in the US, 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 received an email a year ago from an anonymous person demanding money in exchange for user data, and the message was forwarded to the company's bug bounty team in what was described as Uber's routine practice for such solicitations, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

While the exact identity of the hacker hasn't been revealed, it's being suspected that then-CEO Travis Kalanick was aware of the breach and payment.

A Florida man, who is 20, was responsible for the data breach past year at Uber Technologies and was paid by the company to destroy that data through what is known as a bug bounty program that is normally used in identifying vulnerabilities, said three sources who are familiar with this situation.

The payment was made through a bug hunter scheme called HackerOne, created to reward security researchers who identify weaknesses and issues in a company's software. Indeed, it plays no role in payout decisions. A former executive at the firm, Katie Moussouris, said that such a high payment would have been an "all-time record".

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Sources familiar with the hack told Reuters the payment was made through a program created to reward bug hunters who report flaws in a company's software.

"At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals", Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in the announcement.

Khosrowshahi was hired amid concerns about the practices and ethics of previous members of the senior management team.

Kalanick, who stepped down as Uber CEO in June, declined to comment on the matter, according to his spokesman.

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

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