Uber Data Used to Spy on Folks Including Celebrities

Security? What’s that? Uber allegedly spied on users, including celebrities like Beyoncé | Fox News

So you think security isn’t an issue? How about stalking? What do you think about that?

Uber employees helped ex-boyfriends stalk ex-girlfriends, and were even able to access trip information for celebrities like Beyonce, Reveal News explains. These revelations come from the company’s former in-house forensic investigator Ward Spangenberg.

Just like in the case of the sexual harassment story, Uber decided to blame the whistle-blower instead of addressing the problem.

Spangenberg objected to the company’s “reckless and illegal practices” and Uber fired him 11 months after he joined the company in March 2015. Uber says it fired Spangenberg because he violated a code of conduct policy and reformatted his computer. The security expert argued that he simply began rebuilding the laptop after a crash.

The only safe information is your credit card data, because Uber doesn’t store that – their bank does. So why does Uber need your Social Security Number?

“When I was at the company, you could stalk an ex or look up anyone’s ride with the flimsiest of justifications,” Michael Sierchio, who was a senior security engineer at Uber, told the site. “It didn’t require anyone’s approval.”

Uber was allegedly more interested in fast growth than enforcing strong security. “Early on, ‘growth at all costs’ was the mantra, so you can imagine that security was an afterthought,” Sierchio added. “One of the things I was told is, ‘It’s not a security company.'”

Uber and their ilk are painted as the future of everything. Technology to rule your life. (Do I hear echos of “One ring to rule them all?”) And these are the people you want to put in charge of security.

Their self-driving cars… How much security is built into that? Will ex-boyfriends be able to crash their ex-girlfriends’ cars, and not just know where they are?

Vendée Globe Update 17 November 2016

Alone. Nonstop. Around-the-World. No Assistance. That is the Vendée Globe.

The leaders in the Vendée Globe have crossed the equator into the Southern Atlantic.

The video is quite long, and you probably aren’t interested in the whole thing, but the first minutes are interesting, and then there is an interview with Rich Wilson, skipper of Great American IV, which starts at the 14 minute, 20 second mark. Rich Wilson is 66-years-old, and sailing in his 2nd Vendée Globe. He is running a global education program while sailing the race.

The race has been going on long enough that the first mechanical problems are beginning to show up. Rig problems. Hydraulic leaks. Generator problems.

Ranking on 17 November at 17:00 GMT

1. Alex Thomson (Hugo Boss) 20,830.6 miles from the finish
2. Armel Le Cleac’h (Banque Populaire VIII) 84.6 miles behind the leader
3. Sébastien Josse (Edmond de Rothschild) 93 miles back
4. Vincent Riou (PRB) 118.2 miles back
5. Paul Meilhat (SMA) 183.5 miles back
6. Morgan Lagravière (Safran) 204.8 miles back
7. Jérémie Beyou (Maître CoQ) 271.1 miles back
8. Yann Eliès (Queguiner Leucémie Espoir) 414.3 miles back
9. Jean Le Cam (Finistère Mer Vent) 545.4 miles back
10. Jean-Pierre Dick (St Michel-Virbac) 602.9 miles back

So You Think Security Doesn’t Affect You?

There might be some folks who want to hack your car. Researchers hack Tesla Model S with remote attack | PCWorld

This article starts out stating that Tesla – with an actual bug bounty – may be the most security aware car company in existence. It hasn’t helped.

Researchers from Chinese technology company Tencent found a series of vulnerabilities that, when combined, allowed them to remotely take over a Tesla Model S car and control its sunroof, central display, door locks and even the braking system.

Locked that laptop and digital SLR in the trunk? Hackers can open it. Anybody have a violent stalker? A disgruntled employee? How about a bitter ex? Hackers can provide control to the braking system.

If you are using an electronic key fob to open your car, then you are probably giving thieves access to the trunk. OR the interior. (What does an airbag go for these days?)

People continue to insist that security is not a concern to them. They “don’t have anything to hide” from the NSA. But that isn’t the only issue. And the NSA isn’t even universally a bad guy. [Hat tip to Small Dead Animals.