Half a billion Yahoo accounts were swiped recently by hackers which marked the biggest ever data breach in history. The internet company has verified the information.
According to the details known right now, the hack is believed to have taken place in 2014, and names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, and worse in some cases, security questions and their answers were revealed too. Encrypted passwords were also part of the data that had been hacked, according to the Yahoo statement.
In the statement, the Internet giant urged all its users to change their passwords especially those ones that have not done so since 2014. The company currently has a finance section, online shopping and fantasy football, and all these services bring at least a billion monthly active users to the company. Back in June, Yahoo mentioned that its mail service alone had 225 million monthly active users.
Yahoo said that they were closely working with the law enforcement agencies to deal with the issue and noted that they believed the hack to have been a state sponsored act, without mentioning if they had any country in mind.
Yahoo is currently in a sale of its business to mobile communications giant, Verizon. Verizon said that they had been notified of the hacking incident, and they also noted that they had limited information and understanding of the impact. In their statement, Verizon said they would evaluate the situation as the investigation went on, and would decide with Verizon interests such as consumers, shareholders and related communities. However, analysts believe the breach will not affect the sale of Yahoo to Verizon.
Senator Mark Warner was critical of Yahoo for failing to realize the hacking incident earlier when it happened back in 2014. Senator Warner is a member of the newly formed Senate Cybersecurity Caucus. Warner said that the breach at Yahoo was huge compared to the numerous other hacks that have happened at other companies in the private sector. The Privacy Rights Clearing House said that the breaching incident showed the highest ever recorded incident since the non profit organization started compiling the information.
Yahoo has taken some measures to make sure the breach does not affect its users now. Invalidation of security questions was made by the company meaning that the use of the old information would probably not be efficient now. However the real attack lay with the use of the password and details on other websites.
One former Yahoo Information security officer, Jeremiah Grossman said that huge internet corporations such as Yahoo faced a huge difficulty in keeping their internet data safe, and networks because of the various entry points hackers had because of the huge network system.