Uber Paid $100,000 to Hackers to Discard Stolen Data


In October 2016, hackers accessed the personal data of more than 57 million individuals who have used Uber Technologies as either customers or drivers. The information was hidden for over a year and only came to be known this year. In connection with this revelation, the chief security officer of the ride-hailing company alongside his deputy was fired for the role they played in keeping the information unknown. It is said that the hackers were paid a sum of $100,000 to cover the attack. Among the personal information that was received by the hackers were the names, email addresses and phone numbers of more than 50 million people who use Uber across the world. The hackers gained access to the personal details of more than seven million drivers. The information was inclusive of about 600,000 drivers’ licenses from the United States.

Uber went on to reveal that of all the information taken hackers, did not access the Social Security Numbers, the number of trips made and their destination or even credit card information. The hacking happened during a time when Uber was having a separate negotiation with the United States regulators who sought to look into some claims of privacy violation. Instead of reporting the hack to the regulators and to drivers whose license numbers were taken, Uber opted to pay the hackers so that they can delete the information and keep the hack concealed. According to Uber, the data obtained by hackers was not used despite the fact that they refused to reveal the identity of the hackers. While addressing this issue, Dara Khosrowshahi who became the chief executive of Uber early September this year, the action was uncalled for and is inexcusable. The hack is part of the scandals he inherited.

The information about the hack was announced on Tuesday. The New York Attorney General began an investigation into the hack immediately. In the recent days, hackers have managed to invade into companies. The Uber’s case is a little different because of the measure that it took to hide the attack. According to Uber, its former chief executive officer Travis Kalanick learned about the hacking a month after it took place. When asked about the hack, Mr. Kalanick refused to comment. The chief of security Joe Sullivan is said to have led the response to the last years hack. He is also supposed to have played key roles in making decisions that affected Uber.


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