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Jury finds Uber’s former security chief guilty of covering up data breach



(Reuters) — A San Francisco jury has found Uber Technologies Inc.’s former security chief Joseph Sullivan guilty of criminal obstruction for failing to report a 2016 cybersecurity incident to authorities, a Justice Department spokesman confirmed on Wednesday.

Sullivan, who was fired from Uber in 2017, was found guilty of two counts of obstruction of justice and willful concealment of a felony.

“Sullivan affirmatively worked to conceal the data breach from the Federal Trade Commission and took steps to prevent the hackers from being caught,” said Stephanie Hinds, United States Attorney for the Northern District of California.

The case concerns a breach of Uber̵

7;s systems that affected the data of 57 million passengers and drivers. The company did not disclose the incident for a year.

In July, Uber took responsibility for covering up the breach and agreed to cooperate with the prosecution of Sullivan over his alleged role in covering up the hack, as part of a deal with US prosecutors to avoid criminal charges.

Sullivan’s attorney David Angeli and the FTC did not immediately respond to Reuters’ request for comment.

Sullivan was originally charged in September 2020. Prosecutors had said at the time that he arranged to pay the hackers $100,000 in bitcoin and had them sign non-disclosure agreements that falsely stated they had not stolen data.

Sullivan was also accused of withholding information from Uber officials that could have revealed the breach to the FTC, which had been evaluating the San Francisco-based company’s data security after a 2014 breach.

In September 2018, Uber paid $148 million to settle claims from all 50 US states and Washington, DC, that it was too slow to disclose the hack.


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