Wednesday, December 14th, it came out that Yahoo! has had a security breach. Again. This particular attack, which took place in August 2013, has leaked the information of over one billion Yahoo! users. This breach is the biggest one in Yahoo’s history, quite possibly the biggest in the history of the internet. This particular breach is twice the size of the 500 million user breach that was discovered in October. That particular breach took place some time in 2014.
The question coming to the forefront of user’s minds is, how can this happen? The answer is simple; security does not appear to be a priority. What is clear in this instance is how lackadaisical Yahoo has been concerning security. Users hold a certain amount of trust in email/tech companies to keep their data, including passwords, emails and banking information, safe. Yahoo has very clearly neglected this trust.
What does this mean for Yahoo Inc? The company itself is being scouted by Verizon for possible acquisition. The 2014 data breach caused Verizon to take pause in the purchase process, so what could a breach that is doubled in size mean for the deal? Currently Verizon is “review[ing] the impact of the new development before reaching any final conclusions.”
The more important question is, what happens to the users that have been affected by the breach? So far, the company has reached out to the potential breach victims, requiring password and security question changes. The company has also said in an email to the users, “We continuously enhance our safeguards and systems that detect and prevent unauthorized access to user accounts.”
Users are being encouraged to change passwords, even if they haven’t been affected, as well as the typical diatribe of “don’t click on suspicious links, don’t download attachments from people you don’t know, etc…”
Is this latest debacle something that Yahoo can recover from? Will Yahoo’s users regain their trust in their email provider? Read more about the effects of this breach here.