Ride hailing company Uber paid $100,000 to hackers who stole personal details of 50 million customers and 7 million drivers to delete the data and keep quiet about the hack, according to published reports.
The hack occurred more than a year ago, but wasn't disclosed until Tuesday, Nov. 21. Privately held Uber ousted its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, and another employee in connection with the hack and cover up, Bloomberg reported.
Dara Khosrowshahi, who became CEO of Uber earlier this fall, said in a statement "None of this should have happened, and I will not make excuses for it."
Khosrowshahi replaced founder and former CEO Travis Kalanick, who was forced out earlier this year amid allegations he oversaw rampant sexual harassment at the company.
Kalanick had learned of the hack shortly after it occurred. The incident came at a sensitive time for Uber, which had just settled a lawsuit by the New York attorney general over data security, Bloomberg reported.
The hackers downloaded names and driver's license numbers of around 600,000 drivers, Khosrowshahi said in a statement. Names, email addresses and mobile phone numbers of 57 million Uber users, including the drivers, were also downloaded. The company is offering credit monitoring and identity theft protection to the affected drivers.
"At the time of the incident, we took immediate steps to secure the data and shut down further unauthorized access by the individuals. We subsequently identified the individuals and obtained assurances that the downloaded data had been destroyed," Khosrowshahi said in the statement.
Khosrowshahi said Matt Olsen, former general counsel of the National Security Agency and director of the National Counterterrorism Center, has been retained to help restructure Uber's security teams and processes.
Kalanick remains a member of Uber's board of directors.
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