Uber CISO John Flynn (foreground) and HackerOne CEO Marten Mickos (rear) testify before the Senate. (Bloomberg)

Marten Mickos, the CEO of security firm HackerOne, said his company might begin advising clients to include proper legal representation when testing the limits of cybersecurity laws after its client Uber's botched response to a 2016 data breach.

"We need to start advising customers about who to have in the room," he told Axios.

Mickos spoke to Axios after testifying at a Tuesday Senate hearing on the Uber breach that also featured Uber Chief Information Security Officer John Flynn.

  • Flynn admitted that Uber concealed the data breach, netting data on more than 50 million people, by paying a hacker to delete stolen data using funds from a so-called bug bounty program run by HackerOne.
  • The problem: Those programs offer rewards for good guy hackers to research security flaws in products and websites and alert the manufacturer, giving the vendor a chance to fix the problem. But the Uber hacker was an extortionist holding data hostage, not a bounty participant. Claiming it was a bug bounty and not a breach, Uber did not notify consumers for more than a year that their data had been stolen.
"There is no justification for that. We should have notified consumers…We did not have the right people in the room," Flynn said at the hearing.

Where HackerOne fits in: HackerOne runs the platform Uber uses for its bounty program. It does not decide whether or not to notify consumers on behalf of Uber and, in this case, did little more than transfer the funds. But Mickos, who also testified Tuesday, recognized that customers may not have been prepared to handle an extortion attack.

Who are the right people? Breach notification laws are complicated. There is no federal standard; 48 states have their own laws, as well as D.C. and the protectorates. Mickos said that the right people must include a specialized lawyer who can navigate the thorny environment.

Go deeper

15 hours ago - Health

15 states broke single-day coronavirus records this week

Data: Compiled from state health departments by Axios; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

At least 15 states broke their single-day novel coronavirus infection records this week, according to state health department data reviewed by Axios.

The big picture: The number of coronavirus cases increased in the vast majority of states over the last week, and decreased in only two states plus the District of Columbia, Axios' Andrew Withershoop and Caitlin Owens report.

Updated 16 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 11,143,945 — Total deaths: 527,681 — Total recoveries — 6,004,593Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 3 p.m. ET: 2,818,588 — Total deaths: 129,584 — Total recoveries: 883,561 — Total tested: 34,213,497Map.
  3. States: Photos of America's pandemic July 4 ICU beds in Arizona's hot spot reach near capacity.
  4. Public health: U.S. coronavirus infections hit record highs for 3 straight days.
  5. Politics: Trump extends PPP application deadlineKimberly Guilfoyle tests positive.
  6. World: Mexican leaders call for tighter border control as infections rise in U.S.
  7. Sports: 31 MLB players test positive as workouts resume.
  8. 1 📽 thing: Drive-in movie theaters are making a comeback.
16 hours ago - Health

In photos: America celebrates July 4 during global pandemic

Photo: Francine Orr/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

The U.S. has already celebrated Easter, graduations and so much more during the coronavirus pandemic, and now it can add July 4 to the list.

The state of play: Axios' Stef Kight writes public parades and fireworks displays around much of the country are being canceled to prevent mass gatherings where the virus could spread. Hot-dog contests and concerts will play to empty stands and virtual audiences — all while American pride treads an all-time low.