Yahoo to go public about massive data breach affecting its 200 million users

Yahoo! Inc., is expected to officially acknowledge the massive data breach that took place last month with more than 200 million of users account exposed to hackers, Recode reports. While there is no confirmed information about the extent of the breach yet, the sources say that it is “widespread and serious” with the possibility of legal action and investigations led by the government.

Back in August, it was reported by Motherboard that a hacker going by the name of ‘Peace’ claimed to have breached Yahoo and put the usernames and passwords for over 200 million accounts up for sale. The same hacker has previously sold large data dumps of breaches related to Myspace and LinkedIn on a dark web marketplace called the Real Deal. The data dump allegedly included usernames, encrypted passwords, birthdays and other email addresses from 2012.

“It’s as bad as that,” one source told Recode. “Worse, really.”

The data was being sold for 3 bitcoins, worth $1,860 at the time. The company never issued password resets, a usual course of action taken by websites that would indicate of a hack. At the time, the company’s response to the hack was only that it was “aware of [the] claim” but did not confirm or deny that Yahoo users were affected.

The company said in a statement at the time, “We are committed to protecting the security of our users’ information and we take any such claim very seriously. Our security team is working to determine the facts.”

This news comes at a time when Yahoo is the middle of a mega-acquisition by Verizon in a $4.8 billion deal, which is yet to be approved by regulators and shareholders. So, it would be interesting to see if the deal would face repercussions due to the breach.

Yahoo is rumoured to make its announcement this week. If Yahoo confirms the news, this would become the biggest hack of its kind in the Yahoo history. If you own a Yahoo account, it would be ideal to change your password as soon as possible. Also, if you’re using the same Yahoo username and password combination elsewhere, it is recommended to change those as well.

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