20-year-old Florida man was behind Uber hack

2016 Data Security Incident | Uber Newsroom

2016 Data Security Incident | Uber Newsroom

The massive data breach at Uber that exposed the data of some 57 million accounts was the work of 20-year-old Florida man, who was paid by the ride-hailing company to destroy the information through its bug bounty program. Sources familiar with the hack have told Reuters that the payment was made through a program created to reward bug hunters who report flaws.

Uber announced on November 21 that the personal data of 57 million passengers and 600,000 drivers were stolen in a breach that occurred in October 2016. It is important to note that while HackerOne hosts Uber's bug bounty program, it does not manage it, nor does it have a hand in setting Uber's prices for bounty payments.

Uber could be in more hot water after it was reported that the taxi service had allegedly used its bug bounty program to pay a hacker to destroy the data he had stolen.

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KitGuru Says: The Uber hack was clearly handled poorly, particularly since paying off data thieves encourages others to attempt the same thing. Uber paid the young hacker through a "bug bounty" program that is supposed to reward up to $10,000 to researchers who report flaws in its software.

Uber spokesman Matt Kallman declined to comment, the report said.

Its CEO Marten Mickos refused to identify the individual that received the payout but did make it clear that it knows his identity since it requires someone to prove their identity by sending a government tax form before authorizing payment.

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A payment made of $100,000 through Uber's bug bounty program would be highly unusual, with one former executive of an online security company saying it would be the all-time record.

Khosrowshahi was hired amid concerns about the practices and ethics of previous members of the senior management team.

It remains unclear who made the final decision to authorise the payment to the hacker and to keep the breach secret, although the Reuters sources said then-CEO Kalanick was aware of the breach and bug bounty payment in November of a year ago.

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Mr. Khosrowshahi learned of the incident after becoming Uber's chief executive in August, and he's since terminated two employees implicated in its response, Joe Sullivan, Uber's former head of security, and a deputy, attorney Craig Clark.

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