Reportedly, some hackers stole information belonging to at least half a billion Yahoo accounts. This was revealed on Thursday by the company itself, which advised the users to change their passwords. The hack actually happened in 2014 and hackers gained access to names, dates, email addresses, phone numbers and even security questions and answers.
The biggest data breach in history
The internet giant, which will soon be sold to Verizon, said that requested help from authorities. The company called the hacker a “state-sponsored actor” but so far, no country has been put behind the attack. Yahoo advised users to change their passwords in the case they haven’t done it since 2014. The company has 1 billion monthly active users in all their domains including finance and online shopping. Their famous email service is used by about 225 million monthly users.
This recent hack does nothing else but remind everyone how hacking is spreading across the world. Passwords are vulnerable. This is why some cyber specialists advise us to use different passwords for all the accounts that we have. Right now, specialists are working on replacing the classical passwords with other safer methods like retina or fingerprint scans.
Verizon buys Yahoo
Verizon is paying around $4.83 billion for Yahoo. The say that they have been informed of the breach and that will balance the possibilities. The company will evaluate the situation in the best interest of their customers. But most likely, the breach will not affect the buying process.
Some people are criticizing Yahoo for not discovering the hack in 2014, right when it happened. Keeping in mind that they were aware of the seriousness of those breaches, why didn’t they check if everything was all right? The Yahoo hack is considered to be the largest ever.
Yahoo has already begun procedures to protect its users by blocking security questions and answers. But everyone knows that the real danger is the use of passwords on other websites. This could be a chain reaction. Let’s remember that Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg’s account was also hacked. This happened after a similar method stole the passwords of more than 100 million LinkedIn users.
Losing users’ trust
Specialists think that Yahoo will need several months to recover and to regain their user’s trust. A study even revealed that almost 97% of people lose their trust in a company after a hack happened. This could mean very bad news for Yahoo. If they don’t do something quickly to ensure the safety of their clients, this might even be the end.
But this is not a singular case. On August 1, a hacker who goes by the name of Peace admitted to stealing about 200 million Yahoo usernames and passwords. His hack had reportedly happened in 2012. He even said that he might sell those accounts on the dark web. He had previously tried this with other social media accounts. But even like this, this breach is somehow unsurprising. It is indeed very difficult for companies like Yahoo to protect all the data they hold. Yahoo is not the first victim of hackers. It will surely not be the last either.
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