So, remember Yahoo? It used to be pretty big in the IT industry, and at one point, was a direct competitor to Google in terms of search engine usage. Well, now that it’s part of Verizon, lots and lots of skeletons are coming out of the closet. Earlier, we reported on a Yahoo data breach, which was being slowly revealed to the public during the merger process. It looks like there’s some more bad news for Yahoo’s customers. The data breach affected every account.
Originally, Yahoo estimated that about one third of its three billion accounts were compromised. Today, the company released a disclosure notice to the United States Securities and Exchange Commissioner (SEC) that it had found evidence that all of its customers’ accounts had been compromised to some extent. The new evidence was discovered as Yahoo continues the process of integrating into the company named Oath (which AOL will also become a part of).
It might surprise you that Yahoo had somewhere near three billion accounts in its customer base. That’s a lot of accounts and people that were affected by the Yahoo data breach. However, many of those accounts are probably not actually active, and some might not contain any sensitive or private information. However, that is no guarantee that the breach was harmless.
Of course, on Yahoo’s part, the company defended its actions, saying that it had taken immediate action to protect users. However, this action took the form of notifying customers, resetting security questions and requiring a change in passwords. Which is all well and good, but the hack occurred in 2013, and the notifications did not eventuate until 2016. Even then, only the original one billion believed to be affected were notified. By then, the sensitive data would have long been mined by the perpetrators. It’s hardly an ideal protection plan, and customers should be skeptical of their privacy and information security going forward.
So what now? It remains to be seen whether there will be any consequences for Yahoo resulting from this latest revelation. Certainly, people who hear about this should consider whether they want to stay with the company for their business. Verizon is hardly going to be happy about the situation either. Let’s hope that other internet companies will learn from this experience.