Back in September, Yahoo unwillingly admitted that it had incurred a huge security breach back in 2014 which left 500million accounts compromised. Three months later, Yahoo discloses that it had fallen victim to an even bigger security breach around a year earlier but this time a massive one BILLION accounts had been affected.
Yahoo claims that email addresses, passwords, birthdays, and encrypted and unencrypted security questions had been leaked. It states that this time around, no information related to bank accounts/credit cards was compromised. It has assured customers that financial information is secured on a different system which it believes was not affected; but we all know that exposed emails, passwords, and secret questions can do enough damage.
A specialized cyber security firm is working in collaboration with Yahoo and law enforcement to trace the source of the breach in hopes of bringing the perpetrators to justice. The fact that even after year Yahoo is not aware of the origins of the breach is disappointing. Security breaches are not uncommon for tech companies that hold sensitive information, but for Yahoo to have undergone such major breaches within a year’s time shows great negligence and incompetence for a company its size.
Naturally, apprehensions that Yahoo has not implemented the necessary security measures to hold sensitive information have risen. Back in 2013, Yahoo had announced that it had 800milion monthly active users. This number has probably fallen since then but for people who once did use their Yahoo emails, it is advised to change your passwords and delete any sensitive information that your email may carry.
If you are using the same passwords and secret questions for multiple online accounts, you should change them as well. In the worst case scenario, 1.5billion separate accounts have been compromised, so do the needful to secure your information. Inactive Yahoo users are also suggested to delete their accounts as it is not difficult to find your new accounts by the given information present in your older ones.
All other tech giants should be aware of the implications of a security breach. Customers are entrusting tech companies with more and more sensitive information. A security breach not only tarnishes an organization’s reputation but makes it a target for major lawsuits from its users.