Yahoo says hackers stole information from over 1B accounts

Yahoo says hackers stole information from over 1B accounts”

Yahoo on Wednesday revealed that information was stolen from more than 1 billion user accounts after disclosing a separate hack of some 500 million accounts in September.

Yahoo said it is requiring its users affected by the 2013 breach to change their passwords.

Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo in July with the goal of using the aging Internet company's vast audience to compete for online advertising sales against the two dominant players, Facebook (FB, Tech30) and Google (GOOGL, Tech30).

The Privacy Commissioner John Edwards says the web company Yahoo needs to be more open about how many New Zealanders have had their information stolen by hackers.

"We will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions", the statement said.

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Ganesan said Verizon has a high amount of leverage in renegotiating the deal because Yahoo's brand will be hurt by the data breach - reportedly the largest ever from a single source - and the company has already had trouble retaining employees. These include changing passwords as well as the security questions and answers for any accounts using the same security information as their Yahoo accounts, watching for suspicious online activity and avoiding links and attachments in suspicious emails. Security questions and answers have been invalidated so they can no longer be used to gain access to an account. Yahoo says that this newly disclosed, billion-account hack was "state sponsored", so maybe that's not all that surprising.

On Thursday, Yahoo's stock plunged 6 per cent as investors anxious that Verizon would abandon the purchase.

"Think about all of the highly sensitive files that could be lurking in these breached Yahoo! email accounts: incredibly sensitive tax or financial statements, personal healthcare data, even banking or credit card information".

In September, Yahoo said the attack was "state-sponsored" - a claim that many security experts have questioned.

Yahoo required all of its customers to reset their passwords - a stronger measure than it took after the previous breach was discovered, when it only recommended a password reset.

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More than 150,000 US government and military employees are among the victims of the newly disclosed breach. No court in DE, where Yahoo is incorporated, has ever found that a material adverse effect has occurred that would allow companies to terminate a merger agreement. That designation, which generally means a fact significant enough for investors to take into consideration when evaluating a company, could be used by Verizon to pull out of the deal entirely, analysts said.

It's not clear whether the data provided by law enforcement to Yahoo is connected to samples offered on an underground site this past August, particularly since Yahoo still remains unsure of how the user data was spirited out of its systems in the first place.

Yahoo on Wednesday said it is moving forward with the Verizon deal.

"The trust that your users have in you is directly tied to the level of security they expect", he said.

Yahoo (YHOO, Tech30) stock fell more than 5% in trading Thursday morning following a Bloomberg report that Verizon (VZ, Tech30) is weighing whether to cut the $4.8 billion price tag of its acquisition or abandon it entirely.

Phone and bank stocks push indexes higher; Dow at record
ASIAN MARKETS: Japan's benchmark Nikkei 225 rose 0.7 percent and the South Korean Kospi inched up 0.1 percent. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 advanced 1.2 per cent to 5,543.60 and India's Sensex rose 1.7 per cent to 26,688.88.

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