Yahoo ‘expected to confirm massive data breach’, says Recode

Graham Cluley

Yahoo 'expected to confirm massive data breach', says Recode

Yahoo 'expected to confirm massive data breach'

As Yahoo poises to sell up to Verizon, it may have some bad news to share.

Recode reports:

Yahoo is poised to confirm a massive data breach of its service, according to several sources close to the situation, hacking that has exposed several hundred million user accounts.

While sources were unspecific about the extent of the incursion, since there is the likelihood of government investigations and legal action related to the breach, they noted that it is widespread and serious.

Earlier this summer, Yahoo said it was investigating a data breach in which hackers claimed to have access to 200 million user accounts and was selling them online. “It’s as bad as that,” said one source. “Worse, really.”

This summer a hacker calling themselves “Peace” was reportedly trying to sell 200 million Yahoo usernames, passwords and dates of birth on dark market websites.

What we don’t know is whether the alleged stolen login credentials were collected through phishing attacks, a breach at a different site where Yahoo users were using the same passwords), or a serious security breach at Yahoo itself.

Of course, we have to wait to see if Yahoo does make an announcement about a hack or not, and if they do what the nature of the claimed data breach might be. Until then, there’s a lot of speculation.

As before, my advice to Yahoo (and other internet) users is that your online accounts will be a whole lot safer if you have not made the mistake of reusing passwords between different sites, and have enabled two-step verification.

If a massive Yahoo hack is confirmed there will inevitably be many people quick to blame the firm for exposing their information. Not to pass the buck, but everyone going online today needs to be sensible about their security and take the necessary precautions and steps to reduce the chances of their own accounts being compromised.

Even if this current scare ends up not impacting your account, there is always the danger that you could become a victim in the future.

Update: Yahoo confirms: hackers stole 500 million account details in 2014 data breach

Read more about two-step verification:

Graham Cluley Graham Cluley is a veteran of the anti-virus industry having worked for a number of security companies since the early 1990s when he wrote the first ever version of Dr Solomon's Anti-Virus Toolkit for Windows. Now an independent security analyst, he regularly makes media appearances and is an international public speaker on the topic of computer security, hackers, and online privacy. Follow him on Twitter at @gcluley, or drop him an email.

19 Replies to “Yahoo ‘expected to confirm massive data breach’, says Recode”

  1. "As before, my advice to Yahoo (and other internet) users is that your online accounts will be a whole lot safer if you have not made the mistake of reusing passwords between different sites, and have enabled two-step verification."

    I use two step verification on almost everything that can use it and normally use a password vault to generate out a new password with ease.

    How ever its not my job to insure that a company protects there shit. If a leak truly did occur with yahoo then they dam well better show in there confirmation that they did there due diligence on protecting the data. If not then there heads are going to be strong up on pikes with fines pinned to them.

    1. I don't think you understand how technology works. You can only do so much against a hack and sooner or later a good persistent hacker will prevail. It is absolutely on YOU to make sure you are more protected than what Yahoo provides. If you're reusing passwords, no one is to blame but you. If the service offers you multifactor authentication, then you better make use of it.

  2. Just great the thing I use to take people email and phone contact from Facebook via contact export has another security breach…..

    1. Exactly! And, Yahoo was king of the BS accounts. Fake user names, fake ages…all going back to their chat room days. Everyone was 21 and gorgeous and either a doctor or astronaut. No big deal.

  3. I've been wondering why Yahoo has been nagging me at each log in to "Make sure my account is secure" for the past month, I've even wondered if they had been hacked. They sure can't protect my account themselves, and aren't in any hurry to inform the public of their lax security. Yahoo is finished, stick a fork in them . . . . . .

  4. When will we ever learn that there are people who delight and profit from our stupidity? Trust no one, not even God, with your personal information. Keep it in a book, under your mattress. Folks, ever since time began, others have always profited from our labors while sitting on their behinds and snickering. If not hackers, then our own Government. Wise up people, change pass words frequently, use 2 step verification, and, above all: Never use the same pass word(s) on different sites. Use common sense and be safe out here. They lurk behind every bush and internet connection.

  5. The best way to thwart this to NEVER put your real name anywhere on the internet. All my email accounts and Facebook accounts are pseudonyms since I started on the net 18 years ago.

  6. Wait… you mean people actually use their REAL names, and REAL birthdates on these accounts? And they reuse passwords? LOL!

  7. "Yahoo usernames, passwords and dates of birth on dark market websites."

    What, we can't even cal it a Black Market anymore?

  8. I wish I could use 2-step verification. Unfortunately, my Yahoo email is a subset of an sbcglobal (now AT&T) account, and that program does NOT have 2-step verification.

  9. There is an easy way to avoid any issues with this kind of thing.

    1. Never use your real name.
    2. Never use your real DOB
    3. Never use your real phone number.
    4. Maintain separate persona domains, where nothing is shared between them, not even a photo, such as Friends & Family; banking; dating; blogging.
    5. Keep one account as a spam trap. Anytime some site asks for an email address use this, but never use it for anything important.

    That way, if a site like Yahoo gets hacked, so what.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Never miss a thing. Sign up for the free GCHQ newsletter from Graham Cluley.
GET EMAIL UPDATES