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Uber Hacker Calls for Better Driver Pay in Slack Attack

Uber's security has once again been penetrated, this time apparently by a teen who demanded that Uber pay its drivers better.
An Uber driver cruising in Krakow, Poland
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A hacker reportedly gained “full access” to internal Uber systems including the app’s source code in a breach where they used the company’s work chat to call out the company’s compensation for drivers.

The ride-sharing app’s computer network was breached Thursday according to The New York Times, which claims to have spoken to the person taking responsibility for the hack. The unnamed 18-year-old reportedly alleges they targeted Uber for its weak security, having honed their cybersecurity skills over the last several years. They reportedly claim to have phished a password from an employee by posing as Uber’s IT department and used it to gain access to a variety of internal systems including the Slack chat app.

The hacker reportedly declared their presence by sending out a company-wide message, “I announce I am a hacker and Uber has suffered a data breach,” along with a call for higher pay for Uber’s drivers. Uber reportedly took several internal communications and engineering systems offline to investigate, and instructed employees not to use internal comms channels. However, the hacker is still reported to have accessed the app’s source code, internal company emails, and other systems.

“They pretty much have full access to Uber,” said Sam Curry, a cybersecurity engineer at Yuga Labs, who also spoke to the person claiming to be behind hack, to NYT. “This is a total compromise, from what it looks like.”

An Uber spokesperson reportedly claimed the company was investigating the breach, and speaking to law enforcement.

This occasion isn’t the first Uber hack, with hackers pilfering account data for some 57 million drivers and customers in 2016. Uber paid a $100,000 ransom to have the data deleted, but didn’t report the breach, leading to the firing of security executive Joe Sullivan and charges of obstructing justice.

The more recent hacker’s complaint about Uber’s treatment of drivers is also rooted in history, as Uber has previously been fined $20 million by the Federal Trade Commission for lying to drivers about potential pay according to The Observer. Earlier this week, Uber also paid $100 million in back taxes and interest for attempting to classify drivers as contractors to avoid paying benefits according to CNN.

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