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POTUS taps Uber chief security officer to be a part of a cyber security commission

Uber's chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, has been tapped to join a 12-member cyber security commission.


The tech industry is no stranger to cyber security attacks and issues. Often, tech companies are either fending off attacks on their own systems or developing a way to protect its users against hackers.

In looking to leverage that wealth of knowledge of and experience with cyber security attacks, President Barack Obama appointed a number of former and current tech executives to a 12-person Commission on Enhancing National Security.

Among those pulled from the tech world, including former IBM CEO Sam Palmisano, is Uber’s Chief Security Officer Joe Sullivan. Sullivan, who joined Uber in 2015, handled security at Facebook prior to that for five years and at eBay before that.

From the outside, it’s tough to say what Sullivan has done in his time at Uber because much of his job goes on behind the scenes. The most recent forward-facing project that would have fallen under Sullivan’s purview is the bug bounty for which Uber would reward $10,000 to the hacker who could find a bug in the app.

But Uber, as a company, has been subject to a number of public data breaches and hacks. In early 2015, the company suffered a data breach that affected the names and information of 50,000 drivers. Uber riders have also been the subject of hacked and stolen credit card information from the Uber app that were later sold on The Dark Web.

The commission will be tasked with making recommendations on actions that can be taken in the next decade that will enhance cyber security protections. Establishing the commission is the first of many parts of a broader Cybersecurity National Action Plan the White House announced n February. In addition to hiring a Federal Chief Information Security Officer, the President has also committed to investing $19 billion for cyber security as part of his 2017 budget.

“To identify the individuals to take on this task, the President and his team consulted closely with leaders in the fields of national security, cyber security, business, technology, academia, and elsewhere,” the statement reads. “In addition, members of the bipartisan Congressional leadership each selected one individual to serve on the Commission, to ensure that there is broad support for the recommendations that are ultimately delivered to the nation.”

The Commission is expected to meet with the U.S. Department of Commerce today for its first public meeting.

Here are the rest of the appointed members:

  • Tom Donilon, former Assistant to the President and National Security Advisor (Chair)
  • Sam Palmisano, former CEO of IBM (Vice Chair)
  • General Keith Alexander, CEO of IronNet Cybersecurity, former Director of the National Security Agency and former Commander of U.S. Cyber Command
  • Annie Antón, Professor and Chair of the School of Interactive Computing at Georgia Tech.
  • Ajay Banga, President and CEO of MasterCard
  • Steven Chabinsky, General Counsel and Chief Risk Officer of CrowdStrike
  • Patrick Gallagher, Chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh and former Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Peter Lee, Corporate Vice President, Microsoft Research
  • Herbert Lin, Senior Research Scholar for Cyber Policy and Security at the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation and Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution
  • Heather Murren, former member of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission and co-founder of the Nevada Cancer Institute
  • Joe Sullivan, Chief Security Officer of Uber and former Chief Security Officer of Facebook
  • Maggie Wilderotter, Executive Chairman of Frontier Communications

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