Half the planet just got hacked. How?! Well, if you use Yahoo, there is a very good chance that your personal data got exposed and might be in malicious hands.
According to recent reports, 3 billion Yahoo users as of 2013 were or are affected by a data hack. This is ALL of Yahoo users.
The funny thing is (maybe not so funny) Yahoo said this hack had only affected 1 billion in the original announcement. Experts are saying this hack is considered to be the biggest hack in history – Well at least the history of the internet.
So, why did the company say the hack affected only 1 billion? Just like you, they just found out about the 2 billion victims as the company was integrating its services with Verizon, a US based telecommunication provider – in case you didn’t know.
In a statement published on Yahoo, a representative of the company said:
“During integration, the company recently obtained new intelligence and now believes, following an investigation with the assistance of outside forensic experts, that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft”
Wait, There Is More
So, that wasn’t the only attack. There was another one.
In 2014, the company got hacked again and this time at least 500 million users were affected, according to Yahoo’s statement that was published in September of 2016.
Experts and investigators suggested that the 2014 breach seemed to be carried out by actors on behalf of a foreign government. Four people, including two Russian intelligence officers, were charged in that attack.
Bad 4 Business $
According to the Washington Post, Verizon is the new owner of Yahoo. They struck a deal worth 4.8 billion dollars.
That sounds like a great deal. But, these hacks took a whack at that price tag. Further negotiations took place and the price was dropped to 4.48 billion dollars.
USA TODAY reported that the revelation is black eye for new parent Verizon, particularly with cybersecurity risks in the limelight after the Equifax breach (This one is even more serious).
They still don’t know who actually hacked Yahoo in 2013. But they seem to know who did it in 2014.
Here is Stephen Colbert talking about Equifax:
Am I At Risk?
Well, yes and no. That depends.
According to Yahoo, if you choose to listen to them, the stolen information was mostly users’ ID’s on Yahoo and their email addresses, but no passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information.
So, the hackers may have an encrypted version of your password and perhaps other data.
According to experts’ advice, you need to assume the worse.
Yahoo isn’t able to contact all users, especially old account owners.
Change your passwords; don’t use any of the personal information as passwords.
“Review your accounts for suspicious activity,” Yahoo told users. “Be cautious of any unsolicited communications that ask for your personal information or refer you to a web page asking for personal information.
“Avoid clicking on links or downloading attachments from suspicious emails.”
Business Insider recommended the following
(You should also change your security question. If you use that password anywhere else change that too. For better security, use a password manager like LastPass and enable 2-factor authentication. Being proactive can keep your data safe)
I Don’t Care. I Am Not A Yahoo User
HOLD ON! You should actually care!
This matter does happen from time to time and it affects huge number of users online. If you don’t use Yahoo, you probably use Google or Outlook. You are very likely to be a user of Facebook, twitter, Instagram or any other social media platforms out there.
And as long as you continue to use the internet, there is more data collected about you every day. Your entire life can be online and you wouldn’t know about it.
You need to be aware of what you can do and what you should do. Taking the needed precautions, knowing what your rights are and how you can get back what’s rightfully yours are absolutely important.
Recently, Equifax breach affected one out of every 2 American adults and even some non-Americans. This affected their credit scores and Equifax exploited every possible legal loophole to evade responsibility.
Don’t get trapped in that situation.
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