NY Attorney General investigating Uber data breach

Uber hacked, data for 57 million people exposed

The personal information of about 57 million Uber users around the world, including the drivers, was obtained by hackers a year ago, the company announced on Tuesday.

In October of 2016, hackers successfully stole personal information belonging to 57 million Uber customers and drivers.

Reports claim Uber's former chief executive Travis Kalanick has known about the breach for over a year. The hack also exposed the names and driver's license numbers of the company's 7 million drivers (600,000 drivers in the U.S.). He was not at the helm when it happened. The company, which said it had paid hackers $100,000 to delete the data and keep quiet, disclosed the incident in a statement to Bloomberg on Tuesday, following an investigation commissioned by the board.

Uber's payment to the hackers is unusual, with few companies ever admitting to paying attackers because it could encourage further attacks. Earlier in January this year, Uber was fined US$20,000 for failing to disclose a comparatively less serious breach in 2014.

According to the company, no location history, credit card numbers, Social Security numbers, or dates of birth were downloaded in the hack.

Kalanick faced other scandals as well, including the emergence of a tape that showed him engaging in a heated exchange with a driver about fare declines, and revelations that Uber had been using a software tool called Greyball to evade state and local regulators investigating the ride-sharing firm.

"We do not believe any individual rider needs to take any action, " the company said in its statement.

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The New York Attorney General's Office has also opened an investigation into the breach.

Khosrowshahi said he had moved proactively to address the issue, firing two of the security staff that led the response to the incident and engaging cybersecurity consultant Matt Olsen to revitalised the company's cybersecurity response plans.

If you're a user of Uber, it's possible your personal information was hacked in 2016 without you even knowing. The company is individually contacting drivers whose information was compromised and offering free credit monitoring and identity theft protection.

"It doesn't appear that happened here", he said.

There, hackers found the username and password to access Uber user data stored in an Amazon server. Two of the employees responsible for not initially revealing the attack have been fired, Khosrowshahi wrote.

Uber also tightened security for its cloud-based storage systems, according to the company.

Khosrowshahi took the position of Uber's CEO on August 30 this year.

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