UPDATE: Yahoo has confirmed the rumors. The company said that information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen from its network in 2014. What is more, it has claimed that the attacks came from a state-sponsored actor.
Yahoo said that the data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and hashed passwords. The data may not — or may — have included unprotected passwords, payment card data or bank account information.
The company said that it was working with law enforcement agencies on that matter and was unaware if the actor was still in Yahoo’s network.
Meanwhile, there is no indication if the announcement will affect the Yahoo-Verizon deal. As per Reuters, Verizon released the following statement,
We will evaluate as the investigation continues through the lens of overall Verizon interests … Until then, we are not in position to further comment.
500 million accounts? Its probably news to many people that Yahoo even has that many users. Meanwhile, the fallout from the announcement is likely to make itself felt in a couple of days. The fact that the hack actually occurred back in 2014, may serve to reduce the damage somewhat.
PREVIOUSLY: Do you have an account on Yahoo? Well, it stands a fair probability of having been breached. As per Recode, hundreds of of millions of accounts on the platforms have been compromised and the company will break the news to the world this very week.
The news is actually related to Yahoo’s summer announcement, in which the company revealed that it was investigating a data breach. The breach, according to claims made by hackers, was thought to have exposed almost 200 million user accounts. However, reports have now surfaced which point towards the hack being significantly more serious than what was expected earlier.
The first concrete instance of a hack was seen when a cybercriminal named “Peace” claimed to have access to a whole lot of Yahoo account details. Indeed, he was even attempting to sell the credentials of almost 200 million Yahoo users on the dark web for just over $1,800, pretty cheap if you ask me. Assuming that he actually had the data and managed to find buyers, the situation could have gotten way more complicated now.
The data allegedly included user names, easily decrypted passwords and personal information like birth dates and other email addresses. Considering the sensitive nature of the information, Yahoo may also ask users to change their passwords, however, it is something that would have been way more effective back when the company first caught a whiff of the mishap, rather than now.
Yahoo recently ended its existence as a standalone company, after Verizon Communications Inc bought the company’s core internet properties, including Yahoo search and Yahoo mail, for a $4.83 billion sum in July. However, the sale is still pending and the news if true, may just make some shareholders at Verizon, rethink their position.
The liabilities associated with such a compromised position are going to be huge. And considering that folks over at Verizon are soon going to find themselves as the new owners of the beleaguered firm, well, they might have bought more than they bargained for in the first place.
Meanwhile, Yahoo Inc had reported that it expected its revenue to drop by nearly 15 percent and earnings to fall by over 20 percent this year, back in April. The announcement, assuming that it does come this week, is not going to be particularly conducive for business either and may see the companies stocks drop even further.
Well, a month or so ago, the web was awash with people talking about how Yahoo was a huge company once. They were also bemoaning the fact that Verizon was paying less than $5 Billion to acquire one of the earliest pioneers of the Internet. Considering the string of ill luck that seems to have latched itself to Yahoo though, Verizon may actually be overpaying.