In major goof, Uber stored sensitive database key on public GitHub page

Uber is trying to force GitHub to disclose the IP address of every person that accessed a webpage connected to a database intrusion that exposed sensitive personal data for 50,000 drivers. The court action revealed that a security key unlocking the database was stored on a publicly accessible place, the online equivalent of stashing a house key under a doormat.

Uber officials have yet to say precisely what information was contained in the two now-unavailable GitHub gists. But in a lawsuit filed Friday against the unknown John Doe intruders, Uber lawyers said the URLs contained a security key that allowed unauthorized access to the names and driver's license numbers of about 50,000 Uber drivers. The ride-sharing service disclosed the breach on Friday, more than two months after it was discovered.

"The contents of these internal database files are closely guarded by Uber," the complaint stated. "Accessing them from Uber’s protected computers requires a unique security key that is not intended to be available to anyone other than certain Uber employees, and no one outside of Uber is authorized to access the files. On or around May 12, 2014, from an IP address not associated with an Uber employee and otherwise unknown to Uber, John Doe I used the unique security key to download Uber database files containing confidential and proprietary information from Uber’s protected computers."

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