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Published: Mon, December 19, 2016
Economy | By Melissa Porter

Yahoo hack: Is it the worst cyber attack in history?


Yahoo said late on Wednesday that it had uncovered a 2013 cyber attack that compromised data of more than 1 billion user accounts, the largest known breach on record. He said he had repeatedly asked Yahoo for briefings about the 2014 hack, which affected 500 million accounts, but had not received a response.

For Yahoo users, experts say, there's little to do except for changing their passwords if they haven't done so in the past three years. InfoArmor, however, said that it was able to figure out several of the passwords from the 2014 beach.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman urged anyone with a Yahoo account to change their passwords and security questions and said he is examining the breach's circumstances and the company's disclosures to law enforcement. The FriendFinder Network, a series of hookup-themed social networks including Adult FriendFinder, comes in third with 412,214,295 exposed accounts, and the classic, largely deserted MySpace social network comes in fourth with 359,420,698. Odds are that Verizon will proceed with its Yahoo deal, but under the circumstances it is justified in seeking a cyberuncertainty discount on the toy it plucked from the remainders bin.

Yahoo has said data from more than one billion accounts may have been hacked.

Less than 24 hours after Yahoo disclosed the even larger hack of client accounts by a "state-sponsored actor", Bloomberg reported that Verizon is "exploring a price cut or possible exit" from its proposed Yahoo acquisition. Following news of the latest hack, Verizon said it would "review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions".

Confirmation of a second security breach at Yahoo has prompted widespread criticism, with US Democratic Senator confirming he now plans to investigate the company's cyber security arrangements.

Skeptics fret that Yahoo is a risky use of Verizon's cash as the telecom grapples with labor strikes on the one hand, and a range of potentially attractive merger and acquisition alternatives on the other.

Yahoo has yet to comment on Verizon's statement.

It's separate to an incident from 2014 and is believed to affect names, email addresses, phone numbers, dates of birth, MD5-hashed passwords (a form of encryption now widely considered insecure) and security question answers, according to the company.

"As we've said all along, we will evaluate the situation as Yahoo continues its investigation". The company says it believes bank-account information and payment-card data were not affected.

Litigation and other problems will stem from Yahoo's data breach, and Verizon needs to assess the potential financial hit from those headaches and whether they hurt Yahoo's already shaky financial results.

If you used your Yahoo passwords and security questions on multiple services, like social media or banking services, they could have been compromised.

Undoubtedly, there will be a huge number of user lawsuits filed against Yahoo in the next few weeks.

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