Former Uber Security Chief Charged Over Covering Up 2016 Data Breach

The federal prosecutors in the United States have billed Uber’s former main stability officer, Joe Sullivan, for masking up a enormous facts breach that the trip-hailing business endured in 2016.

In accordance to the press release published by the U.S. Division of Justice, Sullivan “took deliberate actions to conceal, deflect, and mislead the Federal Trade Fee about the breach” that also included shelling out hackers $100,000 ransom to hold the incident top secret.

“A prison criticism was filed currently in federal court charging Joseph Sullivan with obstruction of justice and misprision of a felony in connection with the tried protect-up of the 2016 hack of Uber Technologies,” it says.


The 2016 Uber’s info breach exposed names, email addresses, cellphone numbers of 57 million Uber riders and motorists, and driver license numbers of all around 600,000 motorists.

The corporation uncovered this details to the general public virtually a calendar year later in 2017, right away right after Sullivan remaining his job at Uber in November.

Later it was claimed that two hackers, Brandon Charles Glover of Florida and Vasile Mereacre of Toronto, ended up driving the incident to whom Sullivan permitted shelling out income in exchange for guarantees to delete facts of shoppers they experienced stolen.

All this began when Sullivan, as a agent for Uber, in 2016 was responding to FTC inquiries concerning a prior info breach incident in 2014, and in the course of the exact time, Brandon and Vasile contacted him relating to the new information breach.

“On November 14, 2016, roughly 10 times after giving his testimony to the FTC, Sullivan acquired an email from a hacker informing him that Uber had been breached all over again.”

“Sullivan’s team was in a position to verify the breach within 24 several hours of his receipt of the e mail. Somewhat than report the 2016 breach, Sullivan allegedly took deliberate ways to avoid understanding of the breach from reaching the FTC.”

According to court docket documents, the ransom quantity was compensated by way of a bug bounty software in an attempt to doc the blackmailing payment as bounty for white-hat hackers who level out protection problems but have not compromised facts.

“Uber paid the hackers $100,000 in BitCoin in December 2016, in spite of the truth that the hackers refused to present their correct names (at that time),” federal prosecutors explained. “In addition, Sullivan sought to have the hackers indication non-disclosure agreements. The agreements contained a bogus illustration that the hackers did not take or retail outlet any facts.”

“Also, right after Uber staff were ready to detect two of the people accountable for the breach, Sullivan arranged for the hackers to indicator new copies of the non-disclosure agreements in their genuine names. The new agreements retained the false situation that no facts experienced been attained. Uber’s new administration in the end discovered the reality and disclosed the breach publicly, and to the FTC, in November 2017.”

Just past calendar year, both of those hackers have been pleaded responsible to numerous counts of costs for hacking and blackmailing Uber, LinkedIn, and other U.S. businesses.

In 2018, British and Dutch data protection regulators also fined Uber with $1.1 million for failing to safeguard its customers’ personalized facts for the duration of a 2016 cyber attack.

Now, if Sullivan located responsible of deal with-up rates, he could encounter up to 8 several years in prison, as nicely as possible fines of up to $500,000.

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