Uber says 2.7M U.K. accounts hacked in 2016 data breach
(Bloomberg) -- Uber Technologies Inc. said information from 2.7 million U.K. customers was taken in a 2016 security breach that hit 57 million riders and drivers globally and that the company kept secret from the public and authorities until recently.
Uber said hackers got the names, email addresses and cell phone numbers associated with the accounts. The company, which disclosed the breach last week, had paid the hackers $100,000 to delete the data collected.
Government authorities around the globe are investigating the security breach and Uber’s efforts to keep it from becoming public. U.K. Digital Minister Matt Hancock said last week that there was "a very high chance" the way Uber revealed the breach was "illegal under U.K. law," with any action being a matter for the British courts. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman also launched an investigation.
“This global mess shows Uber to be a company with rock bottom ethical standards,” said Wes Streeting a member of Parliament for Ilford North. “State authorities in the U.S. have started to take action, and it’s high time the U.K. government did too.”
Uber said customers impacted by the breach don’t need to take any action. The company said it has no evidence that trip location history, credit card information, bank account details, or dates of birth were taken. The U.K. National Cyber Security Centre also said there’s no current information that shows financial details were compromised.
Uber’s new Chief Executive Officer Dara Khosrowshahi said in a statement last week that he had only learned of the breach recently. Two company officials were fired as a result, including Joe Sullivan, the company’s security chief.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, who has been embroiled in a fight to cancel Uber’s taxi license in the city, called on the company to disclose more information about the hack.
“Uber need to urgently confirm which of their customers are affected, what is being done to ensure these customers don’t suffer adversely, and what action is being taken to prevent this happening again in the future,” Khan said in a Twitter post.