Information from a minimum of 500 million Yahoo users has been stolen, apparently as far back as in 2014. The hack which was just announced comprises the largest data security breach in history.
Yahoo believes that state-sponsored hackers were behind the attack, and the theft may have included names, emails, dates of birth, telephone numbers, and in many cases both encrypted and unencrypted passwords. At this time Yahoo does not believe that credit card information has been compromised, however the sheer scale of the breach is absolutely breathtaking in its enormity.
Especially shocking is the concerns of the hack being state-sponsored; in recent times concerns about the security of our very ballet voting system has come in to play, with national authorities having been quoted to say that security breaches are a real threat. In the recent Russian voting scandal in which a CCTV camera caught an election official heavily stuffing the ballot boxes with faux votes, our information security is becoming a forefront issue both within the political atmosphere and technical community.
The FBI is aware of the Yahoo intrusion and is currently undergoing an investigation, however decline to comment on who they believe made the hack; "We take these types of breaches very seriously and will determine how this occurred and who is responsible."
The major breach affects more than just security concerns, it may stall the purchase of Yahoo by media giant Verizon. Investors who were disgruntled with stagnant growth pressured the sale of the core internet business aspects of Yahoo to Verizon for $4.8 billion, which is expected to close the first quarter of next year, however with the unveiling of the massive security breach within the Yahoo structure the purchase may not be a done deal.
Market analysists believe that with roughly a 5% drop of users due to the event, Verizon may see a reduced purchase price of Yahoo, ranging from a $100-200 million price drop differential. The sale will continue nonetheless, but with fewer users it’s likely Verizon will attain the giant at a better deal.
For now, it’s important to change your passwords that are related to Yahoo and if the passwords are used elsewhere, it’s advised to change those as well.