Uber’s hacker *irritated* his way into its network, stole internal documents

Employee was spammed so much with MFA requests that he could easily be tricked into accepting one. Then the hacker found a terrible blunder on the internal network.

Graham Cluley
Graham Cluley
@[email protected]

Uber's hacker *irritated* his way into its network, stole internal documents

Uber has suffered a security breach which allowed a hacker to break into its network, and access the company’s internal documents and systems.

Uber tweet

The incident, confirmed by the company in a tweet, and reported by the New York Times, left Uber instructing employees not to use its internal Slack messaging system, and resulted in other systems being made inaccessible.

The hacker, who has shared screenshots of internal Uber systems to confirm his unauthorised access, claims to be 18-years-old. He says that he simply – having already determined a valid username and password – tricked an Uber staff member into granting him access to internal systems by bombarding them with a spate of multi-factor authentication (MFA) push notifications.

Hacker claim

So-called “MFA fatigue attacks” repeatedly spam push notifications to victims until the user is so overwhelmed/irritated/fed-up that they simply grant access to stop them.

Sign up to our free newsletter.
Security news, advice, and tips.

Having gained access via the socially-engineered employee to Uber’s VPN, the hacker is said to have scanned the company’s network, and found a PowerShell script containing hardcoded (doh!) credentials for a Thycotic PAM admin account, which then helped unlock access to many of Uber’s internal systems.

Uber’s security team can’t be feeling too good right now, and the hacker poured salted into the wound by posting a message on the company’s Slack announcing that the firm had been breached.

Hi @here

I announce i am a hacker and uber has suffered a data breach.

Slack has been stolen, confidential data with Confluence, stash and 2 monorepos from phabricator have also been stolen, along with secrets from sneakers.


The truth is, of course, that many many other companies are probably at risk of falling for a similar trick, and may well have staff who have made the mistake of hardcoding login credentials into their PowerShell scripts.

Unfortunately, some Uber staff assumed the message posted by the hacker was a joke.


Many MFA providers allow permission to be granted by receiving a phone call and pressing a key, or accepting a mobile app push notification. Although this can be convenient, hackers can issue multiple MFA requests until their request is finally accepted.

As the LAPSUS$ hacking gang, another group which has exploited MFA fatigue, has previously explained:

Lapsus telegram chat

Signin with password will issue MFA through a phone call or authentication app. However no limit is placed on the amount of calls that can be made, call the employee 100 times at 1am while he is trying to sleep and he will more than likely accept it.

Multi-factor authentication is generally an excellent additional level of protection to have in place, but it can’t be implemented in isolation to other security measures, and it should also be carefully configured to maximise the level of security it can bring.

Graham Cluley is an award-winning keynote speaker who has given presentations around the world about cybersecurity, hackers, and online privacy. A veteran of the computer security industry since the early 1990s, he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows, makes regular media appearances, and is the co-host of the popular "Smashing Security" podcast. Follow him on Twitter, Mastodon, Threads, Bluesky, or drop him an email.

What do you think? Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.