In a stunning revelation, Yahoo disclosed that more than one billion user accounts were hacked in 2013. This includes usernames, telephone numbers, date of birth and other personal information. Incidentally, the company had reported in September that nearly 500 million accounts were also hacked. According to analysts, these two security breaches form part of the largest hacking in the world.
The latest incident of hacking emerged after Yahoo decided to sell the core business to telecom giant Verizon for $4.8-billion, which equates to Rs. 32495 crores. The analysts have questioned the viability of the deal and asked for a review of the valuation. This is because the hacks could trigger litigation against the company.
Commenting on the development, Jeff Kagan, a Georgia-based telecommunications industry analyst added that the explosive hacking disclosure is a major blow for the company. The big question being asked by analysts here is what’s going on at Yahoo.
Steps to protect yourself from online hacks
To reduce the impact of damages, Yahoo has issued a statement urging customers to modify passwords frequently. The magnitude of the hack confirms that few customers are not affected. However, it’s safe to modify passwords to strong ones by incorporating alphabets, numbers, and symbols.
If you have an account with Yahoo, you should constantly review for any suspicious activity. Moreover, you should modify the passwords including security questions from time to time. That being said, you should not click links or download attachments from suspicious emails. If you receive any unsolicited emails, you should ignore it by deleting.
Yahoo hacking didn’t affect credit card and bank account numbers
In the case of the incident occurred in 2013, Yahoo added that credit card and bank account numbers are not affected to a large extent because they are stored in separate database servers. However, the breach poses serious questions about the encryption policies followed by the company. It is through these encryption policies the user accounts are authenticated.
On December 15, Yahoo reported an incident in which hackers used so-called “forged cookies” to gain entry to few accounts. However, the company didn’t disclose any specific numbers. The company didn’t rule out the possibility of state-sponsored attackers.
There are claims that the security breach happened in 2014 could be a handiwork of Russian hackers, even though there is not even a single trace of evidence.