Ride-requesting service Uber is trying to convince a court to allow it to investigate an internet address which it believes could lead the company to a hacker. The news comes eight months after Uber revealed that it experienced a severe data breach. The attack allegedly took place in May of 2014.
Some believe that the internet address is associated with Lyft, which is Uber’s primary rival in the United States.
Last February, Uber announced that it had experienced a security breach, in which the names and license numbers of up to 50,000 Uber drivers had been downloaded illegally. The company filed a lawsuit in San Francisco federal court to try and determine who was responsible for the attack. It is unknown if the information was utilized in a harmful way.
According to court papers, the unknown party utilized a Comcast IP address and had access to an important security password. Some sources have stated that the IP address was assigned to the chief technology officer of Lyft, Chris Lambert.
While a connection between the IP address and the hacker has not been proven, Judge Laurel Beeler has ruled that the information requested by Uber was likely to help expose the person who was responsible.
Lyft spokesperson Brandon McCormick has stated that the company concluded its investigation into the matter several months ago, and the company determined that no employee of Lyft, including Lambert, had anything to do with the security breach. However, McCormick would not state whether or not the Comcast IP address belongs to Lambert.
A spokesperson from Uber recently declined to comment on the case beyond what is available in the court filings. The company would not state what exactly leads them to believe that more information about the IP address could possibly reveal who the hacker is.
In the lawsuit, Uber claims that the hacker violated civil provisions relating to the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act in addition to laws in the state of California.
Lyft is considerably smaller than Uber. The market value of Uber is approximately $51 billion, while Lyft is a mere $2.5 billion. The companies are in fierce competition for both drivers and customers.