New Uber boss 'knew about hack for months'

Uber Colorado Fine

The stolen information included names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of Uber users around the world, and the names and license numbers of 600,000 US drivers, Khosrowshahi said.

The Information Commissioner's Office and the National Cyber Security Center are working to gauge the severity of the problem for British Uber users. Information from about 57 million riders and 600,000 drivers was exposed in October 2016. Bloomberg has added weight to this claim with its own report, confirmed by Uber, that the company disclosed the breach to potential investor SoftBank prior to its public disclosure.

Khosrowshahi said the breach did not include trip location history, credit cards numbers, bank account numbers, birthdays, or social security numbers.

Companies are required to disclose significant data breaches to regulators, something it has by its own admission failed to do in this case.

James Dipple-Johnstone, deputy commissioner at the ICO, said the watchdog is looking into the steps that Uber might need to take in light of the breach "to ensure it fully complies with its data protection obligations".

He wrote in a blog post: "At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorised access by the individuals". "We subsequently identified the individuals and obtained assurances that the downloaded data had been destroyed".

Two employees who dealt with the aftermath of the breach have been sacked amid reports the hackers were paid $100,000. The company said it also has been contacted by the Federal Trade Commission.

Disturbingly, this all happened over a year ago, and as it now turns out, Uber's new CEO, Dara Khosrowshahi, has known about the hacks since he took the helm back in September.

As for Uber customers, he said, "While we have not seen evidence of fraud or misuse tied to the incident, we are monitoring the affected accounts and have flagged them for additional fraud protection". However, Uber has stated that others, like the outgoing chief legal officer Salle Yoo, didn't know about the breach until its board commissioned an independent investigation into Sullivan's conduct spearheaded by an external law firm, which unearthed the breach and drew it to the public's attention.

Since the news of the hacks broke earlier this week, several inquiries, including some in the United States and in Europe, have been launched to understand why it took Uber more than a year to disclose the hacks.

"It is a worldwide incident and it is unclear at this stage which countries were affected by the hack".

"We are in the process of notifying various regulatory and government authorities and we expect to have ongoing discussions with them", the spokesman said.

He said that, as soon as it became aware of the incident, the NCSC had "reached out to global partners" to get a better understanding of any potential threat, adding: "That work is ongoing".

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