Yahoo reveals the data breach affected 500 million users
Yahoo has revealed the company was the subject of a significant data breach back in 2014 and that data from 500 million users had been compromised. The iconic tech company also stated that at the moment of the announcement this Thursday, September 22, the perpetrators seem to be no longer on Yahoo’s network.
It is unknown whether the company had previous knowledge of the hacking and its extent. Yahoo said in a post on its official Tumblr blog the security breach dates back to late 2014.
The legal and financial implications of the “Yahoo hack” are what most people are wondering about since it is near impossible to determine with detail what kind of information the hackers stole from the 500 million accounts.
Yahoo is also on the eve of closing a sales deal of its core business to Verizon, and this accident worries investors and shareholders as the agreement nears closing.
Yahoo urges all users to take preemptive measures
The massive data breach is the latest in a series of cybersecurity-related calamities in recent times. The soon-to-be Verizon subsidiary claims users names, birth dates, email addresses, passwords, and phone numbers are among the data hackers retrieved from half a billion Yahoo accounts.
Other kinds of more sensitive data like bank account numbers, credit card information, and legal documents may have also been within reach of the criminals. Yahoo said its team had narrowed down what the affected accounts were, and that they were going to contact the users by mail.
The company also claimed they were taking several security measures and that all users should change their password as soon as possible. Moreover, they prompted users to follow some online safety guidelines and to consider using the Yahoo Account Key as a private access alternative to regular passwords.
The FBI is working with Yahoo in the investigation
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was reportedly briefed on the matter earlier this week. They are conducting a joint investigation with Yahoo to determine who was the responsible for the data breach and the extent of the hack.
Earlier traces of the accident date back to August, when a hacker that goes by the name of ‘Peace’ posted an ad on the dark web selling 200 million alleged Yahoo accounts. Neither the company nor the government offices have emitted any statements about it.
However, formal theories suggest the attack may have been sponsored by one of the main “cyber-threats” to the U.S. In other words, the FBI thinks the hackers are either Russian or Chinese.
Major news outlets rule out China as an actor since their private efforts to access data from American citizens have decreased ever since signing a ‘cyber peace’ agreement with the U.S. last year. Russia’s profile seems more likely, however, especially for its supposed ties to recent accidents like the DNC leaks and the NSA hack.