Former Uber security chief will have to face wire fraud charges in hack coverup
Uber’s former Chief Security Officer Joseph Sullivan will have to face wire fraud charges over his alleged role in covering up a 2016 hack that exposed the personal information of millions of Uber passengers and drivers.
The breach and its aftermath continue to reverberate after it was disclosed that although Uber knew it had been hacked, Sullivan allegedly arranged to pay the hackers $100,000 described as a “bug bounty” to not disclose the breach. He also allegedly deceived others about the incident.
The wire fraud charges had been added in December 2021 to previous charges of misprison of a felony and obstruction of justice.
In 2018, Uber agreed to a $148 million settlement with state attorneys general and D.C. for violating state data breach reporting and reasonable data security laws in co
In October 2019, Vasile Mereacre and Brandon Glover pleaded guilty to the Uber and Lynda hacks and extortion conspiracy. Despite their guilty plea more than two years ago, they have yet to be sentenced and the next status conference on their case is scheduled for August 2 in federal court for the Northern District of California.
Sullivan is currently the chief security officer for Cloudflare. His LinkedIn profile indicates that prior to working for Uber, he had been Chief Security Officer at Facebook for five years.
US District Judge William Orrick in San Francisco rejected Sullivan’s claim that prosecutors did not adequately allege he concealed the hacking to ensure that Uber drivers wouldn’t flee and would continue paying service fees.
Orrick also rejected the former Uber security chief’s claim that the people allegedly deceived were Uber’s then-chief executive Travis Kalanick and its general counsel, not the drivers.
“Those purported misrepresentations, though not made directly to Uber drivers, were part of a larger scheme to defraud them,” said Orrick, according to the indictment.
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