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Three billion Yahoo accounts hacked

07 October 2017

That's almost equal to half the people on Earth, although at least one IT security expert questions how many of those accounts represent unique users.

The major data security breach executed has affected each and every Yahoo account.

The latest announcement multiplies what was already the largest data breach in history, and will nearly certainly mean more litigation for both Yahoo and Verizon.

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The company said it was sending email notifications to additional affected user accounts. This will now be required of the additional two billion breached accounts.

It may be four years too late, but if you have a Yahoo account, including Flickr, go change your password. The news briefly threatened Verizon's purchase plans, but the deal later went through for a reduced price.

Walden, the company's top-ranking female executive, played a big role in Verizon's acquisition of Yahoo and its merger with AOL to create the Oath unit. "Based on an analysis of the information with the assistance of outside forensic experts, Yahoo has determined that all accounts that existed at the time of the August 2013 theft were likely affected", Yahoo's page says.

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However, the company said the investigation indicated that the stolen information did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information.

However, if anyone affected reused those same security questions on other accounts, experts urged that they be changed. Hence, Yahoo now has to first unencrypt those questions so as to protect and bring back user's vital account information.

Yahoo confirmed the extra two billion accounts had the same user account information stolen - including names, email addresses, telephone numbers, and date of birth - as the one billion accounts disclosed in December 2016, and that the company is continuing to "work closely" with law enforcement.

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Verizon has touted the merged AOL-Yahoo division - called Oath - as a powerful new digital-media player, providing Madison Avenue a large-scale alternative to the twin Goliaths of online advertising, Google and Facebook. "This is not related at all to yesterday's news", said a company official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "We see this in almost every major data breach". "My guess is that Yahoo was completely "owned" across the board".