Yahoo security breached in world record hack
By Digital News Asia September 23, 2016
- Around 500 million accounts compromised
- Company blames state-sponsored hackers
ACCORDING to Yahoo, hackers stole information from about 500 million users in 2014, in what appears to be the largest publicly disclosed security breach in history.
The security breach included swathes of personal information including names and Emails as well as “unencrypted security questions and answers”.
Yahoo believes the attack was state-sponsored and did not include any credit card details.
In July, Yahoo was sold to US telecoms giant Verizon for US$4.8 billion. The FBI has confirmed that it is investigating the attack. News of a major hack surfaced in August when a hacker known as "Peace" was apparently attempting to sell information on 200 million Yahoo accounts.
Yahoo has now confirmed that the breach was far bigger than first assumed. The hacked data includes names, Email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and encrypted passwords. The company has recommended that all users should change their passwords if they had not done so since 2014.
There are also question marks over Yahoo's transparency. It is not clear why the company has taken so long to come clean about the hack.
Verizon, which has agreed to buy Yahoo, said it had not been told of the hack until recently. Marissa Mayer, the chief executive who has presided over the decline of Yahoo is still in charge.
Reuters reported three unnamed US intelligence officials as saying they believed the attack was state-sponsored because it was similar to previous hacks linked to Russian intelligence agencies.
The scale of the hack eclipses other recent, major security breaches such as MySpace (359 million), LinkedIn (164 million) and Adobe (152 million).
Yahoo was once the most popular website in the US and the company was worth about US$125 billion, but lost ground towards the end of the first decade of the century, leading to its purchase by Verizon.
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