A 20-year-old man from Florida was responsible for the Uber Technologies Inc. breach that exposed the data of 57 million customers and 600,000 drivers, which the company kept secret for a year, Reuters reported Wednesday.
The name of the hacker was "unavailable" from "three sources close to the events" that disclosed the other information, reports the Express.
The bug bounty service is aimed at encouraging security researchers to report any flaws that could be exploited by hackers against Uber, and typically pays between $5,000 and $10,000 for information that enables Uber to harden its cyber defences. The company then convinced him to delete the stolen data and sign a non-disclosure agreement about the incident.
The payment was made through a bug hunter scheme called HackerOne, created to reward security researchers who identify weaknesses and issues in a company's software.
The ride-hailing app paid the man, whose identity is still unknown, and an anonymous accomplice to delete the data through a "bug bounty" programme, according to Reuters.
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However, Uber's chief executive at the time, Travis Kalanick, is believed to have known about the breach.
Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's CEO, announced the breach last month and terminated two top security officials.
You can potentially understand the panic and attempt to hush it up - especially in light of how much controversy Uber has courted in the past few years - but with the information of so many users at stake who trust the company, this is a awful failure and was a huge mistake which may be extremely hard to recover from.
"If it had been a legitimate bug bounty, it would have been ideal for everyone involved to shout it from the rooftops", Moussouris said.
"None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it".
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