The Yahoo hack: the largest data breach in history
Yahoo has suffered one of the largest data breaches in history, as data from more than 500 million customers has been stolen in a ‘state sponsored hack’, the technology company announced last week.
The technology company, which agreed to a sale to American telecoms firm Verizon in July of this year, confirmed the hack on Thursday. Names, addresses, and personal information are among the compromised data. Credit card data is said to be stored in a separate system, and as such is not believed to be compromised. Yahoo did not respond to enquiries from the Wall Street Journal questioning whether or not they were aware of the breach before the Verizon deal was announced.
Critics in the cyber security field have placed blame on the MD5 algorithm used – a password protection hash function that is widely considered to be out-dated and ineffective within the industry. The first leaks surfaced on the dark web in August this year, when a hacker known by the name ‘Peace’ was offering to sell information obtained from more than 200 million Yahoo customers.
Users have been advised to change existing passwords, including those that have been repeatedly used for other services and websites, while Yahoo announced it continues to work closely with authorities including the FBI in an ongoing investigation.