Multiple countries launch probes into Uber breach

Multiple countries launch probes into Uber breach
© Greg Nash

Multiple countries are launching probes into Uber after a report revealed that it had covered up a massive cyber attack that exposed the data of 57 million passengers and drivers last year.

According to Reuters, four countries — the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia and the Philippines — have vowed to investigate the matter. 

At the same time, attorneys general in multiple U.S. states, including New York, Illinois and Connecticut, have begun investigating the hack, and some lawmakers are calling on the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to launch a probe of Uber.

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According to Reuters, the FTC is looking into the breach, but did not say if it had launched an official investigation.

“We are aware of press reports describing a breach in late 2016 at Uber and Uber officials’ actions after that breach. We are closely evaluating the serious issues raised,” a spokesman for the commission said.

The popular ride-hailing company revealed on Tuesday that hackers had stolen names, email addresses and phone numbers of 50 million Uber riders around the world in October 2016, as well as the personal information of about 7 million drivers.

But instead of disclosing the breach at the time, Uber paid the hackers $100,000 to get rid of the stolen information and keep quiet about the cyberattack.

“If U.K. citizens were affected, then we should have been notified so that we could assess and verify the impact on people whose data was exposed,” James Dipple-Johnstone, deputy commissioner for the U.K.'s Information Commissioner's Office, told Reuters.