San Francisco jury yesterday acknowledged former Uber security chief Joe Sullivan guilty of obstructing an investigation and covering up a crime committed by third parties against his company. We are talking about a hacker attack against Uber, committed in 2016, and the subsequent investigation of this incident by the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC).
Lawyers for Mr. Sullivan said he and his team were trying to prevent the theft of data on 57 million of the company’s customers when they were contacted by an anonymous hacker demanding $100,000. The company promptly paid a ransom to keep customer data. At that time, the FTC was investigating another case of a hacker attack against Uber, but Mr. Sullivan did not inform the authorities about a new, more serious case.
The authorities believe that in this way the head of security wanted to hide a new incident from the investigators. Moreover, the prosecutor’s office believes that the head of the security service did not take any action to find out who was behind the hacker attack, although he had such opportunities. In 2017, Joe Sullivan was fired from Uber, and three years later, federal authorities launched an investigation against him.
Now the former head of security for Uber faces up to five years in prison for obstructing an investigation and up to three years for hiding information about the incident.