The 17-year-old believed to be “TeaPot,” who hacked Uber and is believed to be behind another hack of Rockstar Games this month, was arrested in England on Friday, accused of infiltrating the companies’ internal messaging boards and exposing corporate weaknesses to hacks.
The hacker, who the police have not named, remains in police custody, City of London Police stated in a tweet on Friday, following investigations by the U.K. National Cyber Crime Unit and the FBI into the Uber breach.
The 17-year-old is also believed to have conducted the breach of Rockstar Games, which created the popular video games Grand Theft Auto and Red Dead Redemption, using the same alias.
A hacker had deceived Uber and Rockstar employees into turning over access to their login credentials by pretending to be a company IT worker.
Uber launched an investigation into the “cybersecurity incident” last week after it learned about the hack in an internal message to company employees, where an unknown account wrote “Uber has suffered a data breach” and later posted an explicit photo on an internal page.
The FBI received more than 323,000 complaints of social engineering attacks last year—three times more than in 2019—according to the agency’s Internet Crime Report, while hackers stole roughly $2.4 billion in the process. One reason behind the increase could be that companies are more vulnerable to cyber attacks since they shifted to remote work since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. San Francisco-based communications company Twilio was also breached using social engineering. Cloudflare, however, was able to deter a hacker and keep its systems uncompromised last month by using security keys tied to individual employees. Often, the attacks are orchestrated using ransomware, a malware that can steal information from an internal data platform, as was used in the breaches of Kayesa last August, as well as the hack of the semi-private Massachusetts ferry service, the Steamship Authority, last June and one of Colonial Pipeline the same month. Uber has since announced its services are operational, following the breach.
Uber Hacking Suspect, 17, Arrested By City Of London Police (Forbes)
Social Engineering: How A Teen Hacker Allegedly Managed To Breach Both Uber And Rockstar Games (Forbes)
Uber Says It’s Responding To ‘Cybersecurity Incident’ After Alleged Hack Of Internal Databases (Forbes)
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