Economy

Uber admits hiding a giant hack affecting 57 million people

Uber admits hiding a giant hack affecting 57 million people

The common element of these breaches - use of a third-party cloud service - highlights the importance for companies to tightly control their use of such services, and to protect the data stored on them.

Earlier in 2016, the company reached a settlement with the NY attorney general requiring it to take steps to be more vigilant about protecting the information that its app stores about its riders.

A SECRET data hack affecting 57 million Uber customers and drivers has been exposed.

The hackers got names, home addresses, cell phone numbers, and email addresses, but it does not appear that they obtained any other information.

According to a company statement, Uber is offering free credit monitoring protection for its drivers, but not affected customers.

"Uber has had a slew of controversies surrounding it for some time now and at a time when the company is relying on public opinion to help support continued operations in London through petitions etc, this incident is likely to do it no favors - as the results of our flash poll show", says Tony Pepper, co-founder and CEO of Egress.

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Vera Jourova, the European Union commissioner in charge of data, said Uber's failure to come clean about the breach showed why the new data protection law was needed. However, the information has now been revealed after the tech company's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, opted to publicly announce it in a bid to reassure users he was making big changes.

The massive breach took place in 2016, and the ride-sharing company tried to cover it up for more than a year, paying the hackers to delete the stolen data. The Uber data breach was concealed by the company for more than a year, according to the report, thanks to efforts by the company's former CSO and another member of the infosec team.

One of those actions was terminating two employees "who led the response to this incident". However, the drivers license numbers of 600 000 drivers in the United States were compromised.

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 New York Attorney General's Office has also opened an investigation into the breach. 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. "While I can't erase the past, I can commit on behalf of every Uber employee that we will learn from our mistakes", Khosrowshahi reassured.


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