Uber apparently hacked by teenager, employees thought it was a joke

The Uber logo on a dark background.
Artwork by Alex Castro/MovieBeat

Uber says it is investigating a “cyber security incidentamid reports that the company’s internal systems have been breached. The suspected hacker, who claims to be 18, claims to have administrator access to the company’s tools, including Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. The New York Times reports that the ride-sharing company took several internal systems, including Slack, offline while it investigated the breach.

When contacted for comment by The edge, a company spokesperson declined to answer further questions and highlighted his statement on Twitter. “We are currently responding to a cybersecurity incident. We are in contact with law enforcement and will post additional updates here as they become available,” the official said. statement reads.

The hacker appears to have made himself known to Uber employees by posting a message on the company’s internal Slack system. “I am announcing that I am a hacker and that Uber has suffered a data breach”, message screenshots circulating on Twitter read. The alleged hacker then listed confidential company information they said they had accessed and posted a hashtag stating that Uber was underpaying its drivers.

The alleged hacker’s Slack message was so cheeky that many Uber employees seem to have initially thought it was a joke, the Washington Post reports. Employee responses to the post included lighthearted emoji like mermaids and popcorn, as well as the “it’s happening” GIF. An anonymous Uber employee says Sam Curry, Yuga Labs security engineer that staff were interacting with the hacker thinking he was making a joke.

“Sorry for being a stick in the mud, but I think IT would appreciate less memes while they deal with the breach,” read an employee’s response, according to The post office.

The hacker told the NYT be 18 years old, and say The post office that they violated Uber for fun and plan to leak 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 through 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.

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

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