In 2016, Uber was subject to a hack that compromised the privacy of 57 million drivers and users. The Department of Justice announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office has charged the former Chief Security Officer of Uber, Joseph Sullivan, with obstruction of justice.
$100,000 in Bitcoin
During Mr. Sullivan’s role as CSO of Uber, he received an email from two hackers having stolen data looking for a six-figure payment in exchange for their silence. As Uber had just been finishing off with an FTC investigation after a hack in 2014, the CSO took steps to avoid public attention and pay the hackers $100,000 in Bitcoin.
U.S Attorney Anderson commented: “Silicon Valley is not the Wild West. We expect good corporate citizenship. We expect prompt reporting of criminal conduct. We expect cooperation with our investigations. We will not tolerate corporate cover-ups. We will not tolerate illegal hush money payments.”
The 2017 Post
In 2017, Uber’s CEO released a blogpost about the data breach for transparency but the CSO’s name did not figure. Now, Mr. Bradford Williams, spokesman on behalf of Mr. Sullivan, stated: “There is no merit to the charges against Mr. Sullivan, who is a respected cybersecurity expert and former Assistant U.S. Attorney. This case centers on a data security investigation at Uber by a large, cross-functional team made up of some of the world’s foremost security experts, Mr. Sullivan included. If not for Mr. Sullivan’s and his team’s efforts, it’s likely that the individuals responsible for this incident never would have been identified at all.”