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Uber Hacker’s Footprints Allegedly Leads Back to Main Rival Lyft

Uber Hacker’s Footprints Allegedly Leads Back to Main Rival Lyft

by Samburaj DasOctober 8, 2015


Ride service behemoth Uber is currently using its legal resources to focus on researching an internet address that could lead to locating the hacker behind its major data breach earlier this year. According to Reuters’ sources, that internet address traces back to the technology chief at its main rival, Lyft.

When Uber publicly revealed a data breach of its database that contained the personal information of some 50,000 customers a full year after it had occurred, few thought things would get more murky and dramatic. Lyft logo

Six months later, sources close to the subsequent investigation have told Reuters that the IP address belonging to the hacker behind the breach was assigned to Lyft’s chief of technology, Chris Lambert.

High Stakes Competition

Lyft, the main U.S. rival to Uber is valued at $2.5 billion, dwarfed by Uber that is valued at a staggering $51 billion. It’s a battleground between the two companies when it comes to acquiring riders and drivers.

When Uber disclosed the data breach publicly in February, it also filed a lawsuit in the federal court in San Francisco to try and identify the hacker. Court papers filed by Uber note that an at-the-time unidentified person who had access to a security key used in the breach was gaining internet access via a Comcast IP address.

It is this IP address that Reuters’ two sources claim, was assigned to the technology chief at Lyft, Chris Lambert. The sources claim that:

  • Uber researched the IP address independently and discovered that it showed up in Internet postings elsewhere that were associated with Lambert, with the IP address assigned to his name.
  • The hack was launched from an IP address associated with a Scandinavian VPN provider that is known to go to lengths to protect its users’ privacy.

As it stands, the court papers draw no parallels between the Comcast IP address and the hacker.

However, a subpoena of Comcast records due to information sought by Uber had U.S. Magistrate Judge rule that it would help reveal the “bad actor” behind the attack. The ruling was despite the fact that the IP address used to launch the attack is likely to be from a VPN.

Brandon McCormick, a spokesman for Lyft claimed the company had investigated the incident “long ago” with the following conclusion.

There is no evidence that any Lyft employee, including Chris, downloaded the Uber driver information or database, or had anything to do with Uber’s May 2014 data breach.

McCormick also declined to comment on questions asking if the Comcast IP address did, in fact, belong the Lambert.

Images from Shutterstock and Wikimedia.

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