In the summer of 2013, Yahoo experienced the largest known data security breach of any company. Hackers perforated Yahoo email systems and collected names, birth dates, alternate emails, and security questions of over 1 billion users.
Yahoo is one of the oldest sources for obtaining free email addresses. This isn’t the first time the company has been hacked. Back in 2014, nearly 500 million accounts were breached, and Yahoo has been making progress tracking down the suspect. The information stolen by the hackers three years ago, however, could be used to break into other accounts across the web. This also includes government database systems, since a few million military employees, including 150,000 in the U.S., in various nations were included in the list of victims.
In the last three years, the information seemed lost. Andrew Komarov, the chief intelligence officer at InfoArmor, claims that the hacked data popped up for sale by a hacking database in Eastern Europe this past August. It’s Komarov’s cybersecurity firm’s job to scour the dark parts of the internet, called the “dark web” by some, where hackers, scammers, and thieves lurk. According to him, three spammers have already paid about $300,000 each for a copy of the stolen data.
Komarov took a copy of the data to military and law enforcement in Canada, Australia, Britain, and the United States to verify the authenticity of the information. These nations then took their findings to Yahoo.
However, until authorities came to Yahoo over a month ago with copies of the stolen data, Yahoo had no idea the hack had taken place. The company made a statement on Wednesday saying they have no idea who could have done this or what they did will all the information they’ve acquired.
Experts in cybersecurity say that the major threat with this incident isn’t the information that was hacked. The hackers opened a can of worms that can lead to more vital information about users that lay in the vastness of the world-wide web.
Many users don’t take the advice to use different passwords for different sites. It’s hard to memorize all those letters and numbers. However, using the same password or security questions every time makes it easier for scammers and hackers access different accounts that contain very important user information.
These two breaches in Yahoo security have really put a standstill on Yahoo’s deal with Verizon. Yahoo had planned to sell its internet company to Verizon for an estimated $4.8 billion. Verizon, however, isn’t sure whether it should demand Yahoo cut the price of sale or just walk away from the deal altogether. This could be because since Yahoo has been hacked users seem to be steadily losing faith in the company.
The FBI made stated that they have begun an investigation on the incident. The stolen data is still up for sale on the “dark web”, yet it hasn’t been getting too many high offers since Yahoo changed all the passwords.