Lone attacker, 20, paid by Uber to delete hacked data

Uber hasn't identified the hacker it paid $100,000 to last year but Reuters reports its a 20-year-old man in Florida.                  Getty Images

The paid a hacker $100,000 to destroy the information.

Uber paid a 20-year old man from Florida $100,000 to delete the stolen personal details of 57m customers and drivers, 2.7m of which were based in the UK. As per a report by Reuters, the payment to the hacker was made via Uber's bug bounty program hosted by HackerOne.

On 21 November Uber admitted it had suffered a hack back in October 2016 which saw the theft of personal information of 57 million customers and 600,000 drivers.

However, Uber did not mention anything about the person who carried out the hack or how it had paid the money to him.

The payment was made through a bug hunter scheme called HackerOne, created to reward security researchers who identify weaknesses and issues in a company's software.

Bug bounty programs are typically used to reward security researchers for finding vulnerabilities or flaws in software.

Uber ended up firing its chief security officer Joe Sullivan and attorney Craig Clark over their roles in the data breach, so it looks like the company isn't exactly chuffed with how the situation was handled, even though it has yet to comment on the revelations Reuters' sources have been serving up. A payment of that size through a bug bounty system would be highly irregular, and one former HackerOne executive said that such a payment would be an "all-time record".

The sources claim that former CEO Travis Kalanick knew about the breach and bug bounty payment, but it's unclear who authorized payment to the hacker.

Khosrowshahi was hired amid concerns about the practices and ethics of previous members of the senior management team.

At that time, Uber chief executive Data Khosrowshahi said: "None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it". He was identified as a 20-year-old living in Florida, but the sources did not reveal his name and Reuters admits it was unable to confirm his identity.

Had the incident taken place after the introduction of the EU's General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) next May, the penalties could have been more severe.

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