20-year-old Florida man was behind Uber hack

20-year-old Florida man was behind Uber hack

Uber paid a 20-year old man from Florida $100,000 to delete the stolen personal details of 57m customers and drivers, 2.7m of which were based in the UK. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.

This is a bit unusual, as such bug bounty schemes are used to reward white hat hackers for discovering software vulnerabilities, and often the companies hosting them will trumpet the success and number of payouts they've made as an example of how strong and stable their code has become.

It has also emerged that the $100,000 paid to the hacker in return for deleting the data was channelled through Uber's bug bounty service, hosted by company HackerOne, which according to a former executive represents a record payment by the service. He said the incident should have been disclosed to regulators at the time it was discovered previous year, Reuters reported.

Apparently, the hacker had to sign a non-disclosure agreement to keep his trap shut about the whole incident, and Uber sent cybersecurity boffins around to make sure the swiped data was indeed purged from his computer. New CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said in November that Uber was wrong in covering it up, and said "We are changing the way we do business".

Uber declined to comment, while HackerOne representatives didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

While the exact identity of the hacker hasn't been revealed, it's being suspected that then-CEO Travis Kalanick was aware of the breach and payment. Uber's bug bounty service is hosted by HackerOne, a company that connects security researchers with companies.

One source described the hacker as "living with his mum in a small home trying to help pay the bills", adding that members of Uber's security team did not want to pursue prosecution of an individual who did not appear to pose a further threat.

The data, which included names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers - but not trip location history, credit card and bank account numbers, and dates of birth - was downloaded from Amazon Web Services (AWS) storage using Uber's log-in credentials stolen from a private area of the web-based GitHub version control repository for developers.

Uber paid a Florida man to keep silent about the data breach past year.

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