DOJ investigating data breach at Uber

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The Department of Justice is probing a data breach at Uber that an internal investigation reportedly linked to an employee at rival service Lyft, Reuters reported late Friday.

Uber has said that the data breach last year may have affected tens of thousands of drivers, exposing their identities and drivers license numbers.

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Uber's internal investigation reportedly linked the initial data breach to a Comcast IP address belonging to Chris Lambert, the chief technology officer at rival service Lyft. A separate IP address reportedly executed the hack; that user remains unidentified.

Reuters reported that federal investigators are looking at the possible link to the rival company.

A spokesman for the Department of Justice said he could not confirm or deny the existance of a criminal investigation. Uber and Lyft did not immediately respond to requests for comment. Lyft told Reuters that it had not been contacted by federal investigators.

Lambert’s attorney says the software engineer has signed a sworn statement saying he was not involved in the hack. He told Reuters he expected an investigation would clear his client.

“Given that Uber apparently lost driver data, a law enforcement investigation is to be expected," lawyer Miles Ehrlich, said. "And the benefit is that the culprit here is going to be identified — and that's going to remove Chris' name from any conversation about Uber's data breach, as it should."

The case is developing as Lyft looks to curb Uber’s rapid global expansion. The smaller service has formed alliances with ride-hail companies in other countries, including Chinese giant Didi Kuaidi, in an attempt to compete with Uber overseas.

But Uber’s growth has continued. The company, fresh off a fundraising round that reportedly valued the company at more than $50 billion, is said to be embarking on another round that would value it at $62.5 billion.