Cybersecurity: Uber hacked by an 18-year old

The Uber alleged hacker, who claims to be an 18-year-old, says they have administrator access to company tools, including Google Cloud Platform and Amazon Web Services.

The ride-hailing business has taken multiple internal systems, including Slack, offline while investigating the breach. Uber is investigating a “cybersecurity incident” amidst reports that the company’s internal systems have been breached.

When reached for a statement, a representative for the company refused to answer additional questions and suggested its information on Twitter. “We are presently responding to a cybersecurity incident. We are in contact with law enforcement and will post further updates here as they become available,” the statement reads.

The hacker seems to have made themselves known to Uber’s employees by broadcasting a message on the company’s inner Slack system. “I announce I am a hacker, and Uber has suffered a data breach,” screenshots of the message spreading on Twitter read. The claimed hacker then listed confidential company information they said they’d accessed and posted a hashtag saying that Uber underpays its motorists.

The Slack message from the plausible hacker was so brazen that many Uber employees appear to have initially thought it was a joke, the Washington Post reports. Employee responses to the post included lighthearted emoji like sirens and popcorn, as well as the “it’s happening” GIF.

One unnamed Uber employee told Yuga Labs security engineer Sam Curry that staff was interacting with the hacker thinking they were playing a joke.

“Sorry to be a stick in the mud, but I think IT would appreciate fewer memes while they handle the breach,” one employee response.

Cybersecurity is the approach to protecting critical systems and sensitive information from digital seizures. Also understood as information technology (IT) security, cybersecurity criteria are designed to battle threats against networked systems and applications, whether they originate from in or out of an organization.

The average data breach in 2020 was USD 3.86 million internationally and USD 8.64 million in the USA. These costs include locating and responding to the violation, the price of downtime and lost revenue, and the long-term reputational harm to a business and its label. Cybercriminals target clients’ personally identifiable information (PII) — names, national identification numbers (e.g., Social Security number in the US, fiscal codes in Italy), addresses, and credit card information — and then market these records in underground digital marketplaces. Compromised PII often leads to a failure of customer trust, the imposition of regulatory fines, and even legal action.

Security system complexity, formed by disparate technologies and a lack of in-house expertise, can amplify these costs. But organizations with a comprehensive cybersecurity strategy, governed by best practices and automated using advanced analytics, artificial intelligence (AI), and machine learning, can fight cyber threats more effectively and reduce the lifecycle and impact of breaches.

The hacker claimed to be 18 years old, said they breached Uber for fun and is considering leaking the company’s source code. In a conversation with cybersecurity researcher Corben Leo, they also claimed to have gained access to Uber’s systems through login credentials obtained from an employee via social engineering, which allowed them to access an internal company VPN. From there, they found PowerShell scripts on Uber’s intranet containing access management credentials that allegedly allowed them to breach Uber’s AWS and G Suite accounts.

“This is a total compromise, from what it looks like,” Curry told. “It seems like maybe they’re this kid who got into Uber and didn’t know what to do with it and is having the time of his life.”