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Hackers stole Information from 500 Million Yahoo Accounts

The internet giant Yahoo said that some “state-sponsored” hackers managed to steal information from around 500 million users. This might be the largest cyber-breach in history. The hack disclosed lots of personal data, addresses, names, emails and even security questions and their answers.

It took place in 2014

The hack reportedly happened in 2014, but just know it has been discovered. The FBI is also conducting an investigation regarding this matter. Even if Yahoo specifically called the hacker “state-sponsored”, no country has been linked to the cyber-attack.

This breach was first brought into discussion when a hacker by the name of Peace said that he managed to steal data from around 200 million Yahoo accounts. He then threatened to sell all the information on the dark web.

The company has been sending e-mail in order to advise its users to change their passwords, if they have not done this since 2014.

There are some questions

All right, the breach happened. It might even be the biggest in history, but let’s keep in mind the fact that this has been going on since 2014. Now some questions remain. Why hasn’t Yahoo acted sooner? What made them wait for so long before confirming that it is actually true? Why didn’t they advise their users to change their passwords sooner?

The interesting fact is that state-sponsored cyber-attacks are usually looking for something a little more than passwords and names. They want political or even financial gain. Does Yahoo actually have evidence that this is indeed a “state-sponsored” attack?

Verizon, the company which is in the process of buying Yahoo, declared that it has been told about this breach but that happened just a few days ago. Why not sooner if the hack dates back to 2014? Reportedly, Verizon bought Yahoo for $4.8 billions. And now this happens. Strange timing. Verizon actually revealed that the hack announcement had very little details to it and that they are not commenting on the situation. For now, at least.

The state-sponsored problem

Reuters reports that some US Intelligence officials jumped to this conclusion because the hack is somewhat similar to other hacks which were conducted by Russian intelligence agencies. Ouch! If Yahoo wants to stay out of trouble, it would probably be better for them to stop here with these accusations. You cannot label something just because it looks like something that has been done before.

All in all, Yahoo might suffer badly from this breach. In the eyes of many, they just proved that are not to be trusted. First it took them 2 years to acknowledge the breach. Then it took them long enough time to warn the users about it. Was this intentional? Or maybe a very carefully organized plan? The bottom line is that many users will undoubtedly leave the Yahoo boat. If they don’t manage to put things back on track and quick (don’t wait 2 years please!), chances are they will lose. A lot. And it will not be in their favor as people tend to choose the safest option. They need to assure people that something like this is never going to happen again. If they don’t…well. It might be the end of it all.

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