Security Experts:

Uber Confirms Hacker Accessed Internal Tools, Bug Bounty Dashboard

Ride-hailing giant Uber is moving quickly to downplay the impact from a devastating security breach that included the theft of employee credentials, access to the HackerOne bug bounty dashboard and data from an internal invoicing tool.

In a note published Monday, Uber confirmed that an external contractor had their account compromised by an attacker who used that access to elevate permissions on Google GSuite and the Slack communications platforms.

Uber acknowledged that the attacker had access to several internal tools but insisted that public-facing systems that handle credit cards, bank account information or ride-share trip history remained safe.

From Uber’s latest breach update:

"First and foremost, we’ve not seen that the attacker accessed the production (i.e. public-facing) systems that power our apps; any user accounts; or the databases we use to store sensitive user information, like credit card numbers, user bank account info, or trip history. We also encrypt credit card information and personal health data, offering a further layer of protection.


We reviewed our codebase and have not found that the attacker made any changes. We also have not found that the attacker accessed any customer or user data stored by our cloud providers (e.g. AWS S3)." 

[ READ: Uber Investigating Data Breach After Hacker Claims Extensive Compromise ]

The company said the attacker successfully downloaded internal Slack messages and data from an internal tool our finance team uses to manage some invoices. “We are currently analyzing those downloads,” Uber said.

More ominously, Uber said the attacker was able to access its bug bounty dashboard at HackerOne, suggesting the exposure of data on security vulnerabilities.  “However, any bug reports the attacker was able to access have been remediated,” the company said.

“Throughout, we were able to keep all of our public-facing Uber, Uber Eats, and Uber Freight services operational and running smoothly. Because we took down some internal tools, customer support operations were minimally impacted and are now back to normal.”

[ READ: The Chaos (and Cost) of the Lapsus$ Hacking Carnage ]

Uber said it believes the  attacker purchased the contractor’s Uber corporate password on the dark web, after the contractor’s personal device had been infected with malware, exposing those credentials. 

“The attacker then repeatedly tried to log in to the contractor’s Uber account. Each time, the contractor received a two-factor login approval request, which initially blocked access. Eventually, however, the contractor accepted one, and the attacker successfully logged in.

From there, the attacker accessed several other employee accounts which ultimately gave the attacker elevated permissions to a number of tools, including G-Suite and Slack,” Uber explained.

The attacker then posted a message to a company-wide Slack channel, which many of you saw, and reconfigured Uber’s OpenDNS to display a graphic image to employees on some internal sites.

The company said it believes the notorious Lapsus$ hacking gang is behind the compromise.

Related: Uber Investigating Data Breach After Hacker Claims Extensive Compromise

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Ryan Naraine is Editor-at-Large at SecurityWeek and host of the popular Security Conversations podcast series. Ryan is a veteran cybersecurity strategist who has built security engagement programs at major global brands, including Intel Corp., Bishop Fox and GReAT. He is a co-founder of Threatpost and the global SAS conference series. Ryan's past career as a security journalist included bylines at major technology publications including Ziff Davis eWEEK, CBS Interactive's ZDNet, PCMag and PC World. Ryan is a director of the Security Tinkerers non-profit, an advisor to early-stage entrepreneurs, and a regular speaker at security conferences around the world. Follow Ryan on Twitter @ryanaraine.