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Uber paid off hackers in attempt to hide theft

Uber paid off hackers in attempt to hide theft

In October of 2016, hackers successfully stole personal information belonging to 57 million Uber customers and drivers.

The San Francisco-based company also revealed on Tuesday that it had only learned recently that personal information from about 57 million Uber accounts had been stolen in 2016.

The company's admission that it failed to disclose the breach comes as Uber seeks to recover from sexual harassment allegations and multiple federal criminal probes that culminated in Kalanick's ouster in June.

Fifty-seven million Uber users had their names, email addresses and phone numbers leaked to two people outside the company.

They also downloaded names and licence numbers of 600,000 of the company's United States drivers, Mr Khosrowshahi said in a blog post.

"None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it", Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in a post discussing the incident. "We subsequently identified the individuals and obtained assurances that the downloaded data had been destroyed". To further hide the damage, Uber executives also made it appear as if the payout had been part of a "bug bounty" - a common practice among technology companies in which they pay hackers to attack their software to test for soft spots. According to Uber, however, no Social Security numbers or trip location information were taken.

Image Zoom             
                                                            |By Jim Finkle
Image Zoom |By Jim Finkle

When this happened, we took immediate steps to secure the data, shut down further unauthorized access, and strengthen our data security.

These drivers have been notified and Uber is providing these drivers with free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

Khosrowshahi also said that he can't erase the past but the company will learn from its mistakes.

It's the latest blow to Uber, at a time when the rideshare company is trying to improve its public image. And to Khosrowshahi's credit, he responded to knowledge of the security breach with the fury of someone who wants to make it clear that this kind of thing is unacceptable, and will not be tolerated. Within hours of the disclosure, a customer filed a lawsuit seeking class-action status, and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman launched an investigation.

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is investigating if this breach has affected Uber customers in the UK. It may have been because the information was easy for hackers to access on account of Uber's engineers being lax with security online (according to some reports), but regardless, the secrecy around the payout is pretty bad.

PNA suspends contacts with United States over closure of PLO Washington office
Offices for the Palestine Liberation Organization are seen in Washington, D.C., on November 21, 2017. "What is the use of holding any meetings with them when they close our office?" he told AFP .


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