Uber investigating ‘cybersecurity incident’


Uber Technologies Inc said it was investigating a cybersecurity incident, after a report that its network was breached, forcing the company to shut several internal communications and engineering systems.

A hacker compromised an employee’s account on workplace messaging app Slack and used it to send a message to Uber employees announcing that the company had suffered a data breach, according to a New York Times report Thursday that cited an Uber spokesperson.

Cybersecurity has been an issue for Uber in the past. It suffered a significant hack in 2016 that exposed the personal information of about 57 million of its customers and drivers.

Shares of the ride-hailing firm were down nearly 5 percent Friday, amid broader U.S. market declines.

It appeared the hacker was able to gain access to other internal systems, posting an explicit photo on an internal information page for employees, the Times report added.

“We are in touch with law enforcement and will post additional updates here as they become available,” Uber said in a tweet, without providing further details.

The hacker has claimed they have gained access to security vulnerability information produced by HackerOne for Uber. Such confidential information could be used for further breaches at the company.

HackerOne said they are “in close contact with Uber’s security team, have locked their data down, and will continue to assist with their investigation,” according to Chris Evans, HackerOne’s Chief Hacking Officer.

Security researcher Bill Demirkapi said screenshots circulating online did seem to corroborate the hacker or hackers’ boasts that they had access to Uber’s internal systems.

“This story is still developing and these are some extreme claims, but there does appear to be evidence to support it,” he said in a message posted to Twitter.

Uber employees were instructed to not use Slack, which is owned by Salesforce Inc, according to the report. Other internal systems were inaccessible too.

Slack said in a statement to Reuters that the company was investigating the incident and there was no evidence of a vulnerability inherent to its platform.

“I announce I am a hacker and Uber has suffered a data breach,” the message read, and went on to list several internal databases that were allegedly compromised, the report added.

A person assumed responsibility for the hack and told the paper he had sent a text message to an Uber employee claiming to be a corporate IT person.

The worker was persuaded to hand over a password that allowed the hacker to gain access to Uber’s systems, the report said.

Uber Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi, who took charge a year after the 2016 hack, fired the then chief security officer, who was later charged with trying to cover up the breach.

A U.S. judge last month dismissed the three wire fraud charges against Joseph Sullivan although he still faces two charges of obstructing a U.S. Federal Trade Commission proceeding and failing to report a felony.

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