In what could possibly be touted as the biggest cyber breach in recent times, Yahoo has revealed shocking news. They have shared that ‘state-sponsored’ hackers have stolen data from over 500 million Yahoo users.
How and why did this happen?
In the United Kingdom alone, about 8 million user accounts are affected.
Yahoo has stated it believes the hackers were “state-sponsored actors,” but did not reveal which country is involved. However, US intelligence officials have suggested that this hack is similar to other cyber attacks linked to Russian intelligence agencies.The FBI has confirmed that this breach has occurred, and an investigation is underway.
Yahoo has revealed that this cyber breach occurred in 2104, but has been publicly disclosed only now. Hackers have stolen various types of user account information, including persona information, names, emails and un-encrypted security questions and answers. Fortunately, it seems no payment information was hacked.
What should Yahoo users do?
Yahoo advises users to change their account passwords, if they have not done so since 2014. In the UK, Yahoo provides email services for ISPs Sky and BT. These providers have advised people to change their passwords for any Yahoo-linked accounts.
Many Yahoo users are filing damage claims against Yahoo:
The lawsuit was filed by a user on behalf of all Yahoo users in the US whose personal info was compromised https://t.co/ydJQ1JWfaF
— DAILY SABAH (@DailySabah) 23 September 2016
Two San Diego residents file class-action suit against Yahoo over data breach: https://t.co/WywvkZAii5
— #NBC7 San Diego (@nbcsandiego) 23 September 2016
“reckless disregard for the security of its users’ personal information that it promised to protect” https://t.co/41ZnT9qB6f
— Hiroyuki Onishi (@noikeanolife) 24 September 2016
What about the future of Yahoo?
Yahoo has been struggling to stay afloat, amidst cut-throat competition. This cyber breach does nothing to help its plight. Many are questioning why CEO Marissa Mayer is still allowed to keep her position, in spite of so many issues that have cropped up during her tenure.
However, the most startling fact was that Yahoo was sold to US telecom giant Verizon this July. Verizon paid $4.8 billion for this deal, but was informed about the cyber breach only a few days ago. When asked for their opinion, Verizon representatives said they had limited information about it, and “Until then, we are not in position to further comment.”
If the contract with Verizon is not already secure, Yahoo is going to have a tough time to stay afloat for very long!