Half a billion Yahoo accounts got hacked

Over half a billion Yahoo emails and encrypted passwords were hacked. It was dubbed as the biggest security breach of the Internet Age.


It was Thursday when Yahoo confirmed that hackers have gone through their server security and compromised roughly 500 million personal user accounts. This has been dubbed the largest security breach of the Internet age.

Yahoo believes that this hacking was done by “a state-sponsored actor”. This means that it was motivated and financed by an unnamed foreign government.

Stolen or compromised data includes:

  • names
  • e-mails
  • addresses
  • telephone numbers
  • dates of birth
  • encrypted passwords

The good news after all this is that the hackers did not go as far as to access computers with unprotected passwords, payment card data or any back account information.

Yahoo advised its users to:

  • Check their accounts for some suspicious activities and to change their passwords including the security questions they might have.
  • Yahoo Mail users to be wary of suspicious e-mail messages. These new messages could be phishing messages sent to people whose addresses have been stolen in order to get more data.

Bruce Scheier, a Berkman Klein Center for Internet & Society fellow at Harvard University said that this security breach on Yahoo is very serious. This was due to the fact that a lot of Internet users now keep sensitive information on online-based systems.

“We no longer keep our stuff on our computers,” said Schneier. “We keep our stuff on their computers.”

But Schneier said that consumers are still better off relying on cloud-based services because despite the occasional data breach, these systems are still more secure than the typical home computer.

“For most people,” he said, “these companies do a much better job of protecting their data then they do.”