IT HAPPENED AGAIN: Yahoo says 1 billion user accounts stolen in what could be biggest penetrate ever

Yahoo CEO Marissa MayerYahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.Reuters/Pascal Lauener

More than 1 billion Yahoo user accounts — including phone numbers, birthdates, and confidence questions — might have been stolen by hackers during an conflict that took place in Aug 2013, a company revealed on Wednesday.

The proclamation of what could paint a largest penetrate of all time is a separate occurrence than a one Yahoo disclosed behind in September. In that hack, Yahoo pronounced that during slightest 500 million user accounts were compromised.

“The association has not been means to brand a penetration compared with this theft,” Yahoo pronounced on Wednesday about a new incident.

News of a crack sent Yahoo shares shifting about 2.5% in after-hours trade on Wednesday.

The explanation of a penetrate could have implications for a $4.8 billion sale of Yahoo to Verizon, that has nonetheless to close. Yahoo disclosed a prior penetrate to Verizon usually after identical to a deal, and Verizon has given pronounced that it considers a penetrate a element eventuality that could impact a terms and cost of a acquisition.

“As we’ve pronounced all along, we will weigh a conditions as Yahoo continues a investigation,” Verizon told CNBC on Wednesday, per a latest hack.

Forged cookies

With a billion accounts during risk, that would make this a biggest crack of ever — bigger than a Myspace crack of 360 million user accounts and 427 million passwords.

Yahoo pronounced that payment-card information and bank-account information were not stored on a complement a association “believes” was affected. But a hackers might have collected a trove of other profitable personal information, such as user names, email addresses, write numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords, and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted confidence questions and answers.

Yahoo pronounced that it now believes an “unauthorized third celebration accessed a company’s exclusive formula to learn how to forge cookies.” It was not transparent that occurrence a fake cookies compared to. But Yahoo pronounced that “the association has connected some of this activity to a same state-sponsored actor believed to be obliged for a information burglary a association disclosed on Sep 22, 2016.”

Here’s a whole summary from Yahoo:

“Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ:YHOO) has identified information confidence issues concerning certain Yahoo user accounts. Yahoo has taken stairs to secure user accounts and is operative closely with law enforcement.

“As Yahoo formerly disclosed in November, law coercion supposing a association with information files that a third celebration claimed was Yahoo user data. The association analyzed this information with a assistance of outward debate experts and found that it appears to be Yahoo user data. Based on serve research of this information by a debate experts, Yahoo believes an unapproved third party, in Aug 2013, stole information compared with some-more than one billion user accounts. The association has not been means to brand a penetration compared with this theft. Yahoo believes this occurrence is expected graphic from a occurrence a association disclosed on Sep 22, 2016.

“For potentially influenced accounts, a stolen user comment information might have enclosed names, email addresses, write numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords (using MD5) and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted confidence questions and answers. The examination indicates that a stolen information did not embody passwords in transparent text, remuneration label data, or bank comment information. Payment label information and bank comment information are not stored in a complement a association believes was affected.

“Yahoo is notifying potentially influenced users and has taken stairs to secure their accounts, including requiring users to change their passwords. Yahoo has also invalidated unencrypted confidence questions and answers so that they can't be used to entrance an account.

“Separately, Yahoo formerly disclosed that a outward debate experts were questioning a origination of fake cookies that could concede an antagonist to entrance users’ accounts but a password. Based on a ongoing investigation, a association believes an unapproved third celebration accessed a company’s exclusive formula to learn how to forge cookies. The outward debate experts have identified user accounts for that they trust fake cookies were taken or used. Yahoo is notifying a influenced comment holders, and has invalidated a fake cookies. The association has connected some of this activity to a same state-sponsored actor believed to be obliged for a information burglary a association disclosed on Sep 22, 2016.

“Yahoo encourages users to examination all of their online accounts for questionable activity and to change their passwords and confidence questions and answers for any other accounts on that they use a same or identical information used for their Yahoo account. The association serve recommends that users equivocate clicking links or downloading attachments from questionable emails and that they be discreet of unsolicited communications that ask for personal information. Additionally, Yahoo recommends regulating Yahoo Account Key, a elementary authentication apparatus that eliminates a need to use a cue on Yahooaltogether.

Additional information is accessible on a Yahoo Account Security Issues FAQs page: https://yahoo.com/security-update.

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