Uber ignored a security flaw that allowed hackers to compromise two-factor authentication code

Ride-hailing app Uber has reportedly ignored a security flaw — discovered by a New Delhi-based security researcher — that can allow an attacker to hack into user accounts via bypassing its two-factor authentication feature.

Pricing algorithms are used by Uber. Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

"Two-factor authentication is a vital part of protecting online accounts that adds a second layer of security on top of your username and password — which can be be stolen — by sending a code by text message to your phone which only you would have access to," tech website ZDNet reported late on 21 January.

"That two-factor code can be bypassed, making the second layer of security protection effectively useless," security researcher Karan Saini was quoted as saying by ZDNet.

The security bug works by exploiting a weakness in how the app authenticates a user when they log in to the platform, thereby letting the user log in to an account and easily defeat the two-factor prompt, without entering the correct code.

Uber reportedly said the security bug "is not a particularly severe" issue.

"This isn't a particularly severe report and is likely expected behaviour," Rob Fletcher, Security Engineering Manager at Uber, said in his correspondence with Saini about the bug report.

Uber began testing two-factor authentication on its systems in 2015 but the company has yet to widely push the security feature to its users.


Published Date: Jan 22, 2018 14:40 PM | Updated Date: Jan 22, 2018 15:02 PM