Uber confirmed it is dealing with a “cybersecurity incident” after a teenage hacker reportedly breached the ride-sharing giant’s internal systems and began taunting workers with explicit messages and images.
The hacker who took responsibility reportedly claims to be just 18 years old, and gained access to the ride-sharing giant’s internal networks by pretending to be an IT worker and asking for an unnamed Uber employee’s password.
The alleged hacker disclosed the data breach in messages to the New York Times and cybersecurity researchers, the outlet reported. Uber employees learned that systems were compromised after the hacker posted a brazen message on the company’s Slack messaging platform.
“I announce I am a hacker and Uber has suffered a data breach,” the message said. The hacker also reportedly posted that Uber drivers should be “better compensated for their work.”
The hacker appeared to have gained complete control of Uber’s systems, security engineer Sam Curry of Yuga Labs told the New York Times.
“They pretty much have full access to Uber,” Curry said. “This is a total compromise, from what it looks like.”
The hacker purportedly taunted Uber employees by sharing on company platforms. One employee told Fortune that the hacker posted a photo of an erect penis and the message “F— YOU DUMB WANKERS.”
The hacker told the New York Times that he decided to breach Uber’s systems because the company has weak cybersecurity measures in place.
Uber was forced to take several of its internal platforms offline after learning of the extensive data breach.
“We are currently responding to a cybersecurity incident,” Uber said in a statement. “We are in touch with law enforcement and will post additional updates here as they become available.”
The alleged hacker posted screenshots purported to be from Uber’s internal systems to Telegram and the images spread quickly to Twitter.
The screenshots included images of an Amazon Web Services page, a HackerOne cybersecurity platform, the dashboard for Uber’s Slack account and what appeared to be a page displaying financial information, among others.
When asked by The Post for further comment on the situation, an Uber spokesperson pointed to the company’s short statement on Twitter.
Kevin Reed, the chief information security officer at Acronis, said the hacker likely found “high privileged credentials laying on a network file share and used them to access everything.”
“What’s worse is if you had your data in Uber, there’s high chance so many people have access to it. Say, if they know your email, they may then know where do you live,” Reed wrote on LinkedIn.
“This particular attacker may not have exfiltrated the data, but there is no way of knowing it and the whole story makes me thinking Uber was compromised by other, less loud parties.”