Yahoo Accounts Compromised – 3 Billion in Total
Yahoo account owners will be displeased to know that they could be compromised. The reason for this happening was due to a data breach that took place in 2013. The breach affected every Yahoo account created till that time, as was stated by Verizon, Yahoo’s parent company.
To be more specific, 3 billion accounts in total have been affected. This includes accounts like Flickr, Tumblr, and Fantasy. However, there are those who believe that the numbers are much worse than what was reported last year, in 2016.
As for what data was compromised, it revolved around email addresses, names, and passwords. Fortunately, no financial information was breached, according to Yahoo.
How the Revelation Came to be?
This revelation was made public when Verizon finally acquired Yahoo’s internal assets after four months, for a staggering $4.48 billion.
The number was considerably low but was revised by Verizon after acquiring new information. In a statement, Verizon specified how it utilized external forensic experts to gain new intelligence. The company further stated only after this investigation they were able to link back the breach to August 2013. It goes without saying, it is one of the biggest data breaches to have ever taken place so far.
What do Experts have to say?
Experts have stated that it is not uncommon for forensics to come up with a larger number of victims. Initially, it was considered to be a small data breach but was later discovered to be much more than a set of compromised data and systems pertaining to a certain set of users. This could be because initial investigations mostly tend to miss out important aspects. For this reason, entirely, expert digital forensics will find much more than any internal team normally would.
According to chief technology officer at Obsidian Security, Ben Johnson; Yahoo may quite possibly never know what information was accessed. He stated that in such cases it is normal for companies to assume that adjustments would be made to the affected accounts.
Taking the recent Equifax breach into account, the company stated that a 100,000 Canadians were affected. After an investigation, it was later found out that no more than 8,000 Canadians were actually affected.
Johnson also stated that new information may have been uncovered during Yahoo’s sale to Verizon. He also explained how another scenario for not being able to uncover the remaining affected accounts was due to the accounts being used by criminals.
Who is to blame?
Yahoo has seen better days, as it was not only attacked in 2013 but 2014 as well. The attack in 2014 affected 500 million people, with four people being indicted by the Department of Justice, out of which two were hackers and two were Russian spies.
As of now, it is unclear as to who is actually behind the attack that took place in 2013, but analysts have reported that the stolen information was up for grabs on the deep web.
Whether you use Yahoo or not, you must understand and realize the importance of taking the necessary steps required to protect yourself online at all costs. This includes taking steps like using complex passwords, taking advantage of two-factor authentication and/or using a reliable VPN.