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Yahoo is the champion of data theft: more than a billion accounts hacked

Yahoo is the champion of data theft: more than a billion accounts hacked

It’s like a disaster, or let’s face it, it’s one. Because the data theft at Yahoo does not seem to come to an end. As early as September, the company admitted that attackers hacked accounts of around 500 million Yahoo users in 2014. Now comes to light: That was not the full extent of the cyberattack.

Yesterday, the Californian company announced that earlier, in 2013, around one billion Yahoo users were victims of a data theft attack. With this, the company led by Marissa Mayer confesses to the historically largest data theft in history. The attack from 2013 is different from the one in 2014, but in both cases Yahoo recognizes a connection to a “state-supported actor”. Yahoo suspects a state-organized attack. However, Yahoo does not reveal any details in its corporate announcement, nor does it specify the country from which the attackers could come.

What did the hackers steal?

According to Yahoo security chief Bob Lord, names, phone numbers, e-mail addresses, dates of birth and encrypted and unencrypted security questions and answers could have been stolen. He doesn’t seem certain, however, as he speaks of “may have included”. Passwords could also be affected, but not in plain text but in encrypted form. However, since Yahoo works with the hash function MD5 – this generates a 128-bit hash value from text – the security of the passwords is not guaranteed. MD5 has been considered extremely unsafe for a long time. According to the current state of knowledge, however, bank details and credit card details are not affected.

Planned takeover in danger

The scandalous data theft could endanger the planned takeover by the telecommunications company Verizon, which Yahoo originally wanted to acquire for $ 4.8 billion. The sale to Verizon was considered the most promising solution for Yahoo in months of negotiations. Now spokesman Bob Varettoni said that Verizon must now examine the effects of the data theft before it makes a final decision. Yahoo, on the other hand, remains optimistic about the takeover.

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