Despite its short life, Uber has already faced waves of fraudulent activity. In 2015, hackers broke into and sold wads of Uber accounts on the dark web, and at around the same time scammers in China used modified smartphones to place fake Uber bookings.
More recently, English-speaking fraudsters have also allegedly been spoofing Uber rides, pretending to be both a driver and customer, and tricking the company out of cash in the process. “Despite the security concerns with hacked accounts and lackluster security that are have plagued Uber for most of the past year surprisingly, more and more people are joining,” one scamming guide reads.Read more
Uber's troublesome history with customer privacy issues took another hit, in the form of a lawsuit over allegations that Uber's employees spied on celebrities and former romantic partners.
Ward Spangenberg, a former forensic investigator for Uber, is suing the company for wrongful termination, age discrimination and defamation, according to court documents. Spangenberg alleges that sensitive information collected by Uber was widely available to employees, who then used it to "track high profile politiciains, celebrities and even personal acquaintances of Uber employees."Read more
Imagine you’re on your way to a therapy appointment in a downtown high-rise. You hail an Uber and enter a nearby coffee shop as your destination so you can grab a snack before the appointment. In the car, you scroll through Instagram and check your email.
You get out, buy your coffee, and walk around the corner to your therapist’s office. If you installed the latest app update, Uber has been tracking your location the entire time. The app update changes the way Uber collects location data from its users. Previously, Uber only collected location information while a user had the app open – now, Uber asks users to always share their location with the ride-hailing company.Read more
The FBI has proposed keeping its database of fingerprints, iris scans and photographs exempt from privacy laws, prompting companies like Lyft and Uber to join advocacy groups in saying they are “deeply concerned” about the proposed change.
The bureau wants to shield its massive biometric database, called the Next Generation Identification (NGI), from Privacy Act rules that require a person to be notified if they are in a government system, as well as rules that let people ensure that the information the government is holding about them is accurate. The FBI’s proposal was first published in early May.Read more
Uber accidentally exposed the personal data of hundreds of its drivers last night, revealing social security numbers, pictures of driver licenses, vehicle registration numbers, and other information.
Drivers registered with the ridesharing company first noticed the leak and dedicated Uber message boards. One driver said that he was presented with thousands of confidential documents from other drivers when he tried to upload a document of his own, saying that he saw "a lot of taxi certification forms and livery drivers licenses" in addition to "W-9 forms with Social Security numbers for taxi cab companies."Read more
Uber is off to a rocky start in China. The company threatened to punish any of its drivers that took part in protests against the taxi app, a large number of trips in the country are false trips concocted by drivers looking to make some easy yuan on Uber's dime.
Now, it looks like Chinese fraudsters are using hacked Uber accounts to take free trips. In May, thousands of Uber accounts were for sale on the dark web, for as little as $1 each. In August, the price of hacked accounts dropped to just 40 cents. Those accounts were accessed by hackers because Uber customers had used the same password in their taxi app as one for another service.Read more
Uber has hired two top vehicle security researchers, high-profile additions that come as the ride-hailing service ramps up its work on technology for self-driving cars.
Charlie Miller and Chris Valasek have resigned from their jobs and will join Uber next week. Miller and Valasek won wide attention this month after demonstrating that they could hack into a moving Jeep. An Uber spokeswoman said Miller and Valasek will work with the company's top security officers to continue building out a world-class safety and security program at Uber. Uber envisions autonomous cars that could someday replace its hundreds of thousands of contract drivers.Read more
One dollar could buy you a stolen password to an Uber account and free car rides around town. Vendors on dark net sites are offering active Uber username and login details for $1.
Motherboard said it was able to verify that some of the accounts were still in use by Uber members and that, in one case, a previously hacked Amazon password was likely used to get into an Uber account because the passwords were the same. The company said it investigated the issue, and found no evidence of a breach. In May 2014, the company suffered a security breach that affected thousands of Uber's current and former drivers.Read more
A senior executive at Uber suggested that the company should consider hiring a team of opposition researchers to dig up dirt on its critics in the media — and specifically to spread details of the personal life of a female journalist who has criticized the company.
After that a senior editor complained of blackmail by the manager of the company as he threatened to use her personal data to track the location of the girl. Top executive outlined the notion of spending “a million dollars” to hire four top opposition researchers and four journalists. Senior editor was repeatedly told that she had been blackmailed by Uber workers.Read more