In addition to earlier accusations relating to concealing up a 2016 data breach that affected the personal information of 57 million drivers and users, Uber Technologies’ former top security officer Joseph Sullivan now faces fresh wire fraud allegations.
The Justice Department said in a statement that a superseding indictment handed down Wednesday reveals how Sullivan allegedly coordinated the payment of a six-figure sum to two hackers in exchange for their quiet about the breach.
In a statement, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephanie M. Hinds stated, “We believe Sullivan forged records to evade the duty to notify victims and concealed the gravity of a severe data breach from the FTC, all to profit his corporation.”
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Sullivan’s lawyer, David Angeli, dismissed the government’s recent charges.
In an emailed comment, Sullivan added, “There’s nothing new here.” “The ‘new’ charges are just a rehash of the same baseless allegations leveled against Mr. Sullivan, whose immediate and decisive efforts — which were known to Uber’s Legal department and many others at the company — resulted in the swift identification of those responsible for this incident.”
According to the indictment, Sullivan tried to keep the intrusion from being discovered by having two of the hackers sign non-disclosure agreements. According to the authorities, the non-disclosure agreements erroneously indicated that the hackers did not take or store Uber’s data during the 2016 attack.
The new charge has not yet been scheduled for arraignment.
Sullivan, 52, began working for Uber in 2015. He began his professional life as a federal prosecutor specializing in computer hacking and intellectual property law. He spent more than a decade in Silicon Valley, working at PayPal and EBay Inc. before joining Facebook as chief security officer in 2008.
According to the Justice Department, Uber has replied to federal queries regarding the matter.