Yahoo seems to have a problem with its cyber security. The tech company falls victim to another massive data breach. Over 1 billion Yahoo accounts have been hacked. The announcement comes months after it was reported that around 500 million user accounts were illegally accessed. The latest news puts Yahoo as the holder of the two largest data breach.
Yahoo's Chief Information Security Officer Bob Lord said that law officials "provided us with data files that a third party claimed was a Yahoo user data". The company asked help from outside experts to analyze the situation. It was later confirmed that an unauthorized third party actually stole data in August 2013. Though they admitted that the identity of these cyber criminals have not been identified yet. They immediately pointed out that this is not connected to the hacking incident they revealed back in Sept. 22.
Yahoo ensured users that their financial information that include payment card data and bank account information were not stolen. This is since the above information are not stored in the same system as the affected personal data. The cyber criminals were only able to access names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.
Those whose accounts were breached are already being notified. If you are one of those affected by the hack, you are advised to change your password as well as the security questions and answers. You need to check if there are suspicious activity in your accounts. In addition, you should be extra cautious of emails that ask for your personal information or go to websites that would ask you the same thing.
Make sure to steer clear from links and attachments that are malicious. You might also want to use a Yahoo Account Key that enables simple authentication and does not require you to use a password on Yahoo. For further information regarding the matter, you should visit the Yahoo Security Issue FAQs page, https://yahoo.com/security-update. Yahoo vowed to "continuously enhance safeguards and systems" to counter possible unauthorized access to user accounts.
If you are worried about someone stealing your identity, you should probably need to place a fraud alert on your credit file or place a security freeze. You can contact the Federal Trade Commission at www.ftc.gov/idtheft/ or 1-877-IDTHEFT (438-4338), in case you want to take this action.
This is the second time that Yahoo has to deal with a massive data breach. Back in September, the company announced that 500 million accounts were hacked in late 2014. According to RT, Yahoo said in a filing to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last November that the hackers might have planted a malware that allowed access to compromised accounts.
The two hacks can cause more uncertainties for Verizon to pursue on acquiring Yahoo. It will likely lessen the chances of the company. Telecommunications industry analyst Jeff Kagan told The Washington Post, "This is another major blow. It throws into question what's really going on at Yahoo. And if you don't really know what's going on at Yahoo, does Verizon have the guts to buy a potential bomb? This company could explode with major problems and major loses."
Yahoo does not seem to be bothered that this second hack could hurt them with Verizon. In fact, the company said in a statement, "We are confident in Yahoo's value and we continue to work towards integration with Verizon." Bob Varettoni, as spokesman for Verizon, also said, "We will evaluate the situation as Yahoo continues its investigation. We will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions."
It should be noted that back in October, Verizon's general counsel Craig Siliman revealed that the company is reconsidering the planned purchase of Yahoo after the news of breach accounts on September. Siliman even cited that Verizon believes that the said hack could actually affect a clause in their $4.82 billion deal. They may walk away if they find out that there is a reasonable basis to do so, according to Reuters.