Former Uber Security Chief Charged in Hacking Cover-up

  • Former Uber security chief Joseph Sullivan, on Thursday, was accused by the US Prosecutors that he had compromised the security of more than 57 million users and drivers due to his data hack cover-up.
  • Sullivan, who was with the firm in the capacity of the chief security officer is said to have paid the hackers $100,000 in bitcoin in December 2016.

Former Uber security chief Joseph Sullivan, on Thursday, was accused by the US Prosecutors that he had compromised the security of more than 57 million users and drivers due to his data hack cover-up. The US Prosecutors were of the view that not only did Sullivan hide the hack, but he also put the lives of them in harm’s way with his actions.  Now if Sullivan finds himself on the wrong side of a verdict he will have to face a maximum sentence of eight years in prison on charges of obstructing justice and concealing a felony crime.

Sullivan, who was with the firm in the capacity of the chief security officer is said to have paid the hackers $100,000 in bitcoin in December 2016. The files included the names, mobile phone numbers for riders, driver license information, etc. 

According to Agence France Presse source, it is said that despite the fact that the matter was brought to light in front of co-founder and leader Travis Kalanick, he too, chose to turn a blind eye. It was not until Uber’s new chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi, joined that the issue was brought to light. 

Uber’s defence and settlement 

The cybercriminals are known to launch phishing attacks that attack the privacy of unsuspecting customers into providing personal information, such as account credentials or payment card information etc. Uber in its press release said that post the incident, the company has security measures to restrict access and have further strengthened controls on the cloud-based storage accounts.

The Xavier Becerra, California’s attorney general, at the time the case went to trial in 2018, had commented that Uber was responsible for its every passenger and driver and it broke the trust when he violated their trust with this data breach. Even though Uber did make amends and settled the case for a massive $148 million which was divided among all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

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