White Hat Hacker Saves UberCENTRAL From Exposing Uber User Information

The Uber name keeps popping up in the technology world as of late, even though not all reports are positive. The UberCENTRAL portal was vulnerable to exploits which would allow hackers to obtain names, phone numbers, and Uber user unique IDs. While no information was leaked according to the company, these flaws raise serious security questions.

UberCENTRAL Vulnerabilities Patched

Providing any personal information to a third party company or web portal is always a security risk. Even large companies, such as Uber, are not immune to hacking attempts. With several vulnerabilities discovered in the UberCENTRAL platform, it appears that a lot of damage could have been done by unknown assailants.

Among the information up for grabs are full names, phone numbers, email addresses, and unique IDs of all Uber users around the world. The flaws were discovered by Kevin Roh, a student who is a white hat hacker and bug hunter in his spare time. A total of three issues were identified, one of which would reveal the user’s name and phone number associated with an Uber email address.

Due to uncovering these critical flaws, Roh was then asked to join the Company’s private bug bounty program. This allowed him to view the backend of the UberCENTRAL platform, which helped him discovered the third party vulnerability. It is pertinent for any company to have people point out flaws and weaknesses as soon as possible.

Even though Uber has fixed all of these UberCENTRAL bugs since their discovery in September and October of 20116, it is not unlikely that someone took advantage of these weaknesses. While it has not been officially confirmed that any information was stolen by hackers, the chance is very real that someone had a peek at what’s stored in the databases. Uber has, so far, denied these allegations.

As is the case with any bug reports, white hat hackers often receive financial compensation for their hard work. It remains unknown how much Roh was paid for his information, but it is expected that he made between US$1,000 and US$3,000–not a bad day of work for a student, to say the least.

It is positive to see companies such as Uber actively offering a bug bounty program. Even though they have some of the best IT specialists in the business working for them, no solution is 100% secure by any means. Thanks to the help of people like Kevin Roh, UberCENTRAL users can rest a little easier now.

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