Uber was apparently hacked by a teen, and employees mistook it for a joke
Uber says it is looking into a “cybersecurity incident” after reports that the company’s internal systems have been compromised. The alleged hacker, who claims to be 18 years old, claims administrator access to company tools such as Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud Platform. According to reports, the ride-hailing company has taken multiple internal systems offline, including Slack, while it investigates the breach.
The hacker appears to have communicated with Uber employees through the company’s internal Slack system. “I declare that I am a hacker and that Uber has suffered a data breach,” read screenshots of the message circulating on Twitter. The alleged hacker then listed the confidential company information they claimed to have obtained, along with a hashtag claiming that Uber underpays its drivers.
The alleged hacker’s Slack message was so brazen that many Uber employees initially mistook it for a joke. Employee responses to the post included sirens and popcorn emoji, as well as the “it’s happening” GIF. According to one unnamed Uber employee, Yuga Labs security engineer Sam Curry, staff were interacting with the hacker as if they were playing a joke.
The hacker claimed to be 18 years old and told that he broke into Uber for fun and is thinking about leaking the company’s source code. They also claimed to have gained access to Uber’s systems through login credentials obtained from an employee via social engineering, which allowed them to access an internal company VPN, according to cybersecurity researcher Corben Leo. They then discovered PowerShell scripts on Uber’s intranet containing access management credentials that allegedly allowed them to breach Uber’s AWS and G Suite accounts.