Biggest Breach Ever Affects 1 Billion Yahoo Accounts

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Biggest Breach Ever Affects 1 Billion Yahoo Accounts


Well, it’s official: out of anyone who claims that 2016 was a rough year, Yahoo had the worst. The technology company was discovered to be the target of two of the largest data breaches on record.

In December, Yahoo released a breach notification stating that, in addition to the 500 million-account breach in 2014 that had been announced just weeks before, the company had also suffered a breach in 2013 that had compromised a billion user accounts. The data that was affected by this breach includes a lot of personally identifiable information, like names, email addresses, phone numbers, encrypted passwords, and an assortment of security questions and answers. Presumably unaffected were unencrypted passwords, bank account information, and credit card numbers, as that data is stored in a separate system, according to Yahoo.

This isn’t good news for anyone, not Yahoo, certainly not Yahoo users, and definitely not Verizon, which is currently in the process of taking over the company’s Internet business.

By purchasing Yahoo at this time, Verizon will essentially be shouldering the responsibility for dealing with any ramifications these breaches might have. Of course, this news could also serve to reduce the asking price of Yahoo, but it might very well be the straw that breaks Verizon’s back and takes the deal off of the table.

Industry experts also argue that these breaches are like cockroaches. When you see one (or two), it’s safe to assume that there are more. Senior analyst Laura Martin of Needham & Company summed it up succinctly: “The fact that we now have two breaches implies that Yahoo security measures were inadequate. So it is more likely there will be future breaches uncovered. It sounds to me like they never knew about any of these breaches, which means they never fixed the problem.”

Martin went on to say that this flaw means that Yahoo may not be worth as much as the company first appeared.

Yahoo is no stranger to security criticism, either. Experts in the field have been pointing out Yahoo as being lax in updating their security measures. Granted, after word got out of this 1 billion account fiasco, they recommended their affected customers to change their passwords, but again, after so many years the damage will already have been done.

A security breach as massive as this only goes to show the importance of trusting your data with a company that you can trust. Resolve I.T. can help your business maximize data security and ensure that you’re protected from breaches. To learn more, reach out to us at (978) 993-8038.