Yahoo has released information of what could as well turn out to be the largest publicly declared cyber-breach. The firm said that Yahoo was hacked and about 500 million accounts were accessed.
Some of the information stolen includes names and emails that lacked encrypted security questions and answers.
However, Yahoo said that some of the information stolen did not include credit card data and added that it has reasons to believe the attack was state-sponsored.
The first time talks of possible Yahoo attacks emerged was in August after a hacker referred to as “Peace” attempted to sell information to 200 million users.
Bigger than expected
Yahoo has revealed that this attack is bigger than what most people thought.
The stolen data consists of telephone numbers, email addresses, names, encrypted passwords and dates of birth.
All users have been advised to change their Yahoo passwords if they have never done so since 2014.
The consoling part about this attack is that the stolen information does not affect the sensitive parts – the payment info remains safe while the passwords were encrypted. That’s good. But the whole issue puts Yahoo’s credibility to question, considering the circumstances that led to Yahoo releasing this information.
Why stay all the way from 2014 to finally assess the scale of the hack in 2016? And all this time, why have they left the users in the dark – unprotected?
The firm claims this attack may have been state-sponsored. Is it really so? Such kinds of hacks are usually meant for political benefits but not financial gain. Then why was the information on sale online? Do they have any evidence it was state-sponsored?
David Lee says that “Verizon, which has agreed to buy Yahoo, said it had not been told until a couple of days ago – why not? And why is Marissa Mayer, a chief executive who has presided over bad deals and now the biggest breach in internet history, still in charge?”
In an era where technology controls almost everything, firms ought to understand that disclosure is better.
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