The ex Uber CSO (Chief Security Officer) Joseph Sullivan, got charged with obstruction of justice for covering up a 2016 hack where he didn’t contact the authorities but decided to pay the hackers in Bitcoin so let’s find out more in the upcoming Bitcoin news today.
The US Department of Justice alleged that the ex Uber CSO Sullivan, covered up a 2016 hack on the company that compromised data of millions of users and drives and according to the reports by the DOJ, he paid the hackers a ransom worth $100,000 in Bitcoin. The announcement from the DOJ informed about the recently filed complaint against Sullivan who served s the Uber CSO from 2015 to 2017 and charged him with “obstruction of justice and misprision of a felony in connection with the attempted cover-up of the 2016 hack of Uber Technologies Incorporated.”
The hackers contacted Joseph Sullivan at the time and revealed that they accessed and downloaded and Uber database containing personally identifying information associated with more than 60 million Uber users and drivers. The database included more than 600,000 drivers’ license numbers for people that are driving for the company. The hackers demanded a six-figure payment not to go to the public and share the data. Sullivan failed to contact the proper authorities so he “took deliberate steps to conceal, deflect and mislead the Federal Trade Commission about the breach.” The US Attorney David Anderson said:
“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.”
FBI Deputy Special Agent in Charge Craig Fair said that Sullivan’s actions are a crime and warned other companies not to follow his example because it will only worsen the problems for the companies and the customers. DOJ’s statement explained that instead of reaching for the regulator, Sullivan paid off the hackers by funneling the ransom via a bug bounty program. This means that he employed a third-party intermediary to arrange the payment process. At the end, Uber paid the hackers $100,000 in BTC in 2016 even though they refused to disclose their names. Sullivan demanded that they sign a non-discourse agreement with false representation that the hackers didn’t take or store any valuable data.
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