A month ago, Vice’s Motherboard reported that a potential security breach may have taken place at Yahoo in which 200 Million records were stolen. According to Motherboard, data from the accounts was being sold through the dark web, with the hacker selling the data associated with previous hacks at LinkedIn and Myspace.
Yahoo at the time stated that it was investigating the allegations. The firm has since acknowledged that the hack took place with over 500 Million accounts affected. Majority of the data stolen includes usernames, passwords, dates of birth for individuals as well as well as back up addresses for various users with most of the data from 2012. The BBC reports that the FBI is investigating the case, which is said to have occured in 2014.
When the breach was initially reported, the hacker wanted 3 bitcoins (Kshs. 185,000) for the data dump. According to BBC, the user password were hashed using the MD5 algorithm which made them scrambled. However, the hacker was also issuing a guide on how the hash algorithm work. Yahoo is asking users to change their passwords if they have not since 2014.
The news comes just after Yahoo was recently acquired by Verizon Wireless for $5 Billion. Yahoo was at one time the most valuable companies in the world with a market capitalization of $125 Million. The company however failed to compete effectively owing to increased competition in search by companies such as Google; competition on social media owing to rise of companies such as Facebook and on the Video front with the rise of YouTube and others. The firm also failed to have a stable leadership to guide its transition.