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Uber breach brings concerns in metro

Posted at 10:12 PM, Nov 21, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-21 23:12:43-05

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Uber announced on Tuesday that personal information belonging to 57 million customers and drivers was stolen in a cybersecurity breach dating back to last year.

According to Uber, hackers were able to steal names, emails, and phone numbers belonging to customers and drivers late last year.

The breach included driver’s license numbers belonging to 600,000 drivers.

A reason was not given as to why it took the company almost a year to report the breach, but the news brought plenty of concern for people who use the ride-sharing app.

“You hear about breaches all the time so maybe I'll be finding out if I'm one of the 57 million,” explained metro Uber user Logan Gillespie.

Gillespie told 41 Action News that he often uses the app for a safe ride home and he would continue using the service despite the breach.

“It's just one of the risks this day and age that you have to deal with,” he explained. “You just have to deal with the consequences and hope that nothing terrible happens." 

Uber’s announcement on Tuesday came on the same day Bank Midwest announced a limit on ATM and debit card withdrawals due to an increase in fraudulent activity.

Exact details of the fraudulent activity were not released by the company but customers would be limited to daily withdrawals of $250 or less.

The announcements follow high-profile security breaches at companies like Target and Yahoo In recent years.

According to metro computer expert Frankie Bellucci, the breaches could get even worse in the years ahead.

“It used to be some virus that would wreck a computer,” explained Bellucci, who has worked in computer and tech service for the last 13 years. “Now, it's happening over and over again and hackers are becoming much more sophisticated." 

Bellucci, who now runs a tech support company called “Frankie On Call”, said people can take simple steps to stay safe.

“Be proactive, not reactive,” he explained. “Don't use the basic password. Don't go places you know not to go." 

Bellucci provided the following tips to keep your computer and identity safe:

  • Enable multi-factor authentication (MFA) for all your accounts
  • Cover internal laptop cameras
  • Don’t do any shopping or banking on public Wi-Fi accounts
  • Ensure that websites are SSL-secure (https instead of http) before making financial transactions online
  • Update your anti-virus software as soon as updates become available
  • Refresh your passwords every 30 days for all accounts and use unique passwords for each account
  • Update computer/mobile software regularly
  • Don’t click unknown links or open unknown attachments
  • Change the manufacturer’s default passwords on all your software

Uber also announced that the company will provide free credit monitoring to drivers who had their driver’s license numbers stolen.