toggle accessibility mode
yahoo data breach

Yahoo Data Beach: One Billion Users Exposed

By John DiGiacomo

The Yahoo data breach is one of the largest cyber security hacks to happen to date. Yahoo recently announced that it was the victim of a cyber attack in August of 2013, and this revelation could have an impact on Yahoo’s potential sale to Verizon. Yahoo revealed that more than one billion Yahoo user accounts may have been stolen during the attack. The August 2013 attack is in addition to another recent hack. Yahoo revealed another breach took place in late 2014 where it was announced that at least 500 million user account credentials may have been stolen. The news of the breach has already sent Yahoo’s stock values plunging 2.5%.  

According to Yahoo, an unauthorized third party gained access to a portion of Yahoo’s system and learned proprietary code in order to forge cookies. Yahoo presently believes that the hack was facilitated by a state sponsored actor, and there is evidence that suggests that the same party or parties were responsible for both hacks, but Yahoo has not definitively concluded yet that this is true.

What Data Was Taken in the Yahoo Data Breach?

Between the August 2013 and the 2014, billions of pieces of users personal information was compromised. Just some of the information that was exposed includes:

  • Names
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Birth dates
  • Hashed password
  • Encrypted or unencrypted security questions
  • Encrypted or unencrypted security question answers

Yahoo has indicated that it does not believe any unhashed or clear text passwords were stolen, nor that any credit or debit card information or bank account information was stolen.

The Impact the 2013 Hack May Have on Yahoo’s Sale to Verizon

Yahoo and Verizon  have been working out a deal where Verizon will buy Yahoo, but after coming to an agreement on the terms of the sale, Yahoo revealed to Verizon and the world that it had been victimized by hackers on such a massive scale. This revelation could potentially affect sale of Yahoo to Verizon as the deal has not yet closed. While Verizon has not yet backed out of the deal, Verizon did note that the 2013 breach is a material event that could play a role in a price adjustment for the sale of Yahoo to Verizon. It is possible that the investigation into the 2013 Yahoo data breach could prompt Verizon to terminate the deal.

Yahoo’s Response Actions to the Hack

Yahoo has already begun the process of containing the intrusion. Yahoo has begun work on notifying those individual users who have been affected by the 2013. Affected users will be contacted and  required to change their account passwords and to create a new security questions and answers.

Talk to a Data Breach Lawyer

Cyber Security is a dynamic area and Revision Legal is dedicated to staying up to date on the latest developments in cybersecurity law. Revision Legal has worked with businesses of all sizes deal with the aftermath of a privacy breach and can provided counsel on handling breach notifications in all 50 states and internationally. If you have concerns about your exposure or have received a notification that you have been a victim of a data breach incident, contact the experienced lawyers at Revision Legal. Civil fines are available in some states for a failure to expeditiously notify those affected by breaches. You need the legal team from Revision Legal in your corner today. Contact us using the form on this page or call us at 855-473-8474.

Image credit to Flickr user Dave Shea.

Put Revision Legal on your side