Yahoo Hack: Data Breach Could Affect Millions Of Users [Report]

Internet portal Yahoo will reportedly acknowledge this week that it has been hit with a massive hack that may have compromised the accounts and personal information of about 200 million users.

Although not yet officially confirmed, hacked information possibly could have exposed usernames, passwords, other email addresses, and dates of birth. Yahoo accounts back to 2012 allegedly could be affected.

As detailed immediately below, tech news website Recode first broke the news of this alleged huge hack, which comes at an awkward time for the company as its $4.8 billion sale to Verizon is still pending, subject to approval by government regulators.

“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.'”

Telecommunications carrier Verizon purchased AOL last year for about $4.4 billion and is seeking to roll Yahoo into AOL if the sale goes through.

Apparently, there was some reporting of the Yahoo data breach a few months ago, and Yahoo said it was looking into it, TechRadar explained.

“You may recall the incident being reported back at the start of August, with allegations that a hacker known as ‘peace’ (or his full name ‘peace_of_mind’) had penetrated Yahoo security and made off with the login details of 200 million accounts, which were subsequently sold on the dark web for just shy of $2,000.”

As The Inquisitr previously reported, Yahoo boss Marissa Mayer’s stewardship of the company has drawn substantial criticism. As Recode observed, “The confirmation of such an extensive hack is also another blemish on the record of CEO Marissa Mayer, a vaunted former Google exec, who has presided over numerous declines in the business since she arrived four years ago. Her inability to turn Yahoo around or innovate any new products eventually led to the sale.”

Mayer is expected to exit the Sunnyvale, California-based company with a lucrative golden parachute in the range of $45 to $50 million once the sale goes final.

Yahoo has not yet issued a statement in response to the Recode report about an alleged massive data breach, a development, which if accurate, could pose broad legal and regulatory complications. “As Recode points out, the sheer scale of the breach is staggering, and the legal liabilities that could result from it are equally huge. In short, shareholders may well freak out,” Consumerist noted.

Yahoo is getting some flak because it apparently didn’t advise users immediately to reset their passwords after the August revelation about a potential hack attack, AndroidHeadlines asserted.

Yahoo is one of the oldest companies in the online media market, dating back as far as 1994 when two students from Stanford University built the platform and saw a quick surge in their business, The Inquisitr recalled.

Despite Yahoo’s financial woes,”[Verizon] will pick up services that still draw one billion monthly users, including mail, news, and sports content and financial tools,” according to BloombergTechnology.

The Washington Post indicated that the hacker allegedly responsible for the Yahoo data compromise “has also claimed to have massive troves of data about LinkedIn and MySpace users in recent months.”

Confirmation of the Yahoo hack could come as early as today. Watch this space for updates about the reported Yahoo data breach as further news emerges.

[Featured Image by Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP Images]

Update: Yahoo has upped the ante in its disclosure about the user account hack, Reuters reports.

“Yahoo Inc said on Thursday information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen from its network in 2014 by what it believed was a ‘state-sponsored actor.’ The data stolen may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth and hashed passwords but may not have included unprotected passwords, payment card data or bank account information, the company said.”