All Things Upwork

As was reported in the crime blotter of the San Jose Mercury News yesterday, a federal grand jury has indicted Chetan Suresh Bendale for an alleged failed plot to extort payments from oDesk in 2009.

While we cannot comment extensively on the details surrounding the alleged extortion attempt, I want to clarify a few critical items:

In 2009, an unauthorized user attempted to access our domain registry account. We became aware of the unauthorized activity very quickly –within minutes– and shut down their method of access. oDesk user information was not compromised during this unauthorized access. The incident, and the ensuing communications from the party involved, was reported to the appropriate authorities. We will continue to work with law enforcement to ensure that the person who unlawfully accessed our domain registry in 2009 is held accountable for their actions.

I hope that this news article has not caused you undue concern. Let me reiterate that we are entirely certain that no user information was revealed during the attempted unauthorized access of our domain registry account, and that our oDesk community would be among the first to know if personal information was accessed in such a manner.

Best regards,

Gary Swart, oDesk CEO


Gary Swart

Chief Executive Officer

Gary Swart is the CEO of oDesk, the world’s largest online workplace. Gary is a thought leader in entrepreneurship; how best to hire and manage teams; and the future of work, including online work. He is passionate about helping small businesses thrive, fueled by his extensive experience working with startups and small businesses that use oDesk, as well as by mentoring entrepreneurs and business school… read more