Uber hack: Ex-security chief does not have to go to jail

The former security chief at Uber escaped prison for covering up a hack of customer data and has now received three years’ probation after his conviction in the fall. The Washington Post reports, adding that one of the credits given to Joseph “Joe” Sullivan was for years of helping protect people from crimes like the one he then tried to cover up. He also successfully ensured that the data did not become public. Sullivan is the first executive found guilty in the United States in connection with a data breach.

As the newspaper goes on to write, US federal judge William Orrick has raised the question of why then-Uber boss Travis Kalanick was not charged. In his opinion, he was also responsible for the difficult procedure. The judge justified the fact that Sullivan does not have to go to prison now with the novelty of the matter. In the future, such offenses would be punished with imprisonment, even if they were committed by the Pope. According to the US newspaper, hundreds have spoken out in court not to send Sullivan to prison, including dozens of cybersecurity officials. The public prosecutor’s office, on the other hand, demanded 15 months in prison and no special treatment.

In 2016, initially unknown attackers had withdrawn a database from Uber with data on around 50 million passengers and 7 million drivers from Amazon’s cloud service AWS. Uber paid, and management under then-CEO and founder Travis Kalanick tried to keep the affair under wraps by disguising the payment as a bug bounty. After Kalanick was forced to resign over a series of scandals the following year, his successor Dara Khosrowshahi was left in limbo about the matter, he testified in court. Sullivan even reworked internal e-mails and removed important information. When Khosrowshahi found out the truth, he fired Sullivan.


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