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Uber Paid $100,000 Ransom to Hackers After Data Breach of 57 Million Customer Accounts

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【Summary】Uber admitted that it failed to disclose a massive breach last year that exposed the data of some 57 million users of the ride-sharing service, the company’s new chief executive office Dara Khosrowshahi said on Tuesday.

Original Eric Walz    Nov 21, 2017 5:47 PM PT
Uber Paid $100,000 Ransom to Hackers After Data Breach of 57 Million Customer Accounts

SAN FRANCISCO — There is yet another controversy at Uber. The company admitted that it failed to disclose a massive breach last year that exposed the data of some 57 million users of the ride-sharing service, the company's new chief executive officer Dara Khosrowshahi said on Tuesday.

Uber handling and coverup of the incident led to the departure of two employees who led Uber's response to the incident, said Dara Khosrowshahi, who was named CEO in August following the departure of founder Travis Kalanick.

Bloomberg News reported that Uber's chief security officer Joe Sullivan and a deputy had been fired from the company this week because of their role in the handling of the incident. Sullivan, formerly the top security official at Facebook is a former federal prosecutor, and one of the most respected security executives in Silicon Valley.

The company paid a $100,000 ransom to the hackers to delete the stolen data, according to Bloomberg. However, there is no clear way to tell if the hackers complied and securely deleted the data.

According to the company's account, two individuals downloaded data from a web-based server at another company that provided Uber with cloud-computing services.

The data contained names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of some 57 million Uber users around the world. The hackers also downloaded names and driver's license numbers of some 600,000 of the company's U.S. drivers, Khosrowshahi said in a blog post.

The company's admission that it failed to disclose the breach comes as Uber seeks to recover from a series of missteps that culminated in the Kalanick's removal as CEO in June.

"None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it," Khosrowshahi said in a blog post.

This announcement adds to Uber's growing list of controversial business practices the company is trying to seperate itself from.

In May, Anthony Levandowski the former Waymo self-driving car engineer who led Uber's self-driving car project, was fired after he failed to cooperate in the investigation of stolen trade secrets and documents from Waymo. He alleged brought those with him to Uber to jumpstart their self-driving car development. The resulting lawsuit filed by Waymo is scheduled to begin in December.

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