An old story has come roaring back to life today with the revelation that a reported leak from 2013, in which Yahoo reportedly lost the information for 1/3rd of its customers, was actually much more catastrophic than previous estimates. According to the New York Times, it was revealed that account information for all of the yahoo accounts was stolen.
Yahoo, which was acquired recently by Verizon, revealed that all of their accounts had been breached when the information was found among documents reviewed during the acquisition.
While it doesn’t appear that bank account, payment or password data was included in the leak, it’s still quite serious. Your birthday, email address and other data may have been compromised, and a senate hearing will seek to uncover exactly what was stolen and what we might not still know. The committee will also be talking to Equifax, who has also faced a massive breach of data in the recent past, losing the data of 145 million people. Certainly one of the biggest issues facing the tech industry in the future will be safety of information as more and more of our personal data becomes entrusted to companies such as these and thus vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
The breach, which is almost certainly the largest in history, is still unattributed to any single group but was uncovered when the information was put on sale on the dark web.
Yahoo, previously one of the giants of the internet, is currently paired with AOL to form the subsidiary “Oath” under the Verizon umbrella.
Both of the titans of the early internet have falled on hard times recently, with Yahoo being surpassed by websites like Bing even as they failed to surpass google for search engine domination, and AOL losing out to Google as well in the email industry, and simply losing massive amounts of its market share as people stopped using the AOL program. A resurgence of sorts is almost certainly on the mind of the Verizon corporation, but one wonders whether or not this news will damage the reputation of Yahoo past the point of no return.
The best way to combat the breach as of right now is to delete your yahoo account, and make sure that any accounts you used the same password for have been changed as well, such that any widespread release of the data wouldn’t spread to your other accounts. There’s always the chance, as well, that the information could fall into the hands of someone wanting to use the data for nefarious means rather than what is currently believed to have been simple spam companies up until now.