The Uber banner is draped across the New York Stock Exchange at the time of its initial public offering in 2019. Earlier this month, the DOJ charged the company's former CSO with two criminal counts related to an alleged cover-up of a data breach. (Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The federal indictment of Uber’s former CSO for allegedly covering up an extortion payment by making it look like a bug bounty reward, should serve as a stern warning to companies: create more precisely defined parameters of what constitutes a legitimate vulnerability disclosure transaction, then more strictly enforce them.

Additionally, businesses need to better understand the legalities that differentiate an above-the-board bug bounty payment from an illicit cover-up.

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