Uber Might Have Been Trying To Dodge Investigations With This Tool

The system was named for the heroine of the

The system was named for the heroine of the"Alien movie franchise. Eric Risberg AP

According to Uber it no longer uses Ripley because it was not effective and now uses an off-the-shelf software called Prey and another type of software it built called uLocker.

The Uber HQ team overseeing Ripley could remotely change passwords and otherwise lock up data on company-owned smartphones, laptops, and desktops as well as shut down the devices. The report states, "Uber has reason to be cautious with the sensitive information it holds about customers and their locations around the world". Uber said this software is necessary to protect company data, along with the privacy of passengers, drivers and Uber employees.

The nickname for the tool, meanwhile, is said to be inspired by a quote from Ellen Ripley, the heroine played by Sigourney Weaver in the Alien film franchise.

If you thought that Ripley was the only trick Uber had up its sleeve, wait till you hear about their other program called Greyball.

For example, in May of 2015, when investigators from Quebec's tax authority showed up at Uber's Montreal office with a warrant to collect evidence, employees at the company's headquarters in San Francisco were able to remotely log off every computer in the Montreal office.

Nintendo Direct reveals Dark Souls is coming to Switch
Mario steps onto the court in classy tennis garb for intense rallies against a variety of characters in full-blown tennis battles. She's a Japanese hacker with an LED digital mask that changes colors/expressions depending on what's going on in the game.

It's not the first time that Uber has developed tools to evade officials, some of which are under investigation in the US.

Between spring 2015 and late 2016, Bloomberg says Uber repeatedly used Ripley to avoid police raids in foreign cities such as Amsterdam, Brussels, Hong Kong and Paris. Because of this, the investigators were unable to access the company records they were there for.

The investigation is focusing on an Uber program, internally known as 'Hell, ' that could track drivers working for rival service Lyft Inc, the WSJ said, citing people familiar with the investigation. "When it comes to government investigations, it's our policy to cooperate with all valid searches and requests for data". The tool ran a fake version of Uber that wouldn't actually let government authorities hail rides whenever they'd attempt to launch a sting operation.

Less than a week after Greyball was exposed, Uber said it stopped using the software. We also send freebies and lots of other goodies exclusively to our email subscribers. For instance, if an employee loses their laptop, we have the ability to remotely log them out of Uber's systems to prevent someone else from accessing private user data through that laptop.

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