Posted on October 4, 2017 at 11:50 AM
Yahoo confirmed that the number of the affected users in the biggest data breach in history, only keep growing.
Yahoo confirmed this week that every single one of its 3 billion accounts were compromised by a data theft in 2013. The number of affected accounts has tripled since the initially estimated damage of 1 billion accounts. This solidifies this hack as the biggest data breach in history.
Yahoo, who has since become part of Verizon Communications, stated last December that only 1 billion accounts were compromised during a malicious attack in August 2013.
The company included their latest discovery in an update on their account security update page. They also stated that will start alerting accounts that did not previously receive notifications of the attack.
The latest investigation from Yahoo did confirm that all stolen information did not include highly sensitive information such as passwords in clear text, credit or debit card information, or bank account details.
In their latest statement on Tuesday, Yahoo emphasized the steps they took to protect accounts since the data theft. Yahoo required every user to change their password if they had not already done so, since the time of the theft. In addition, Yahoo also invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers so that they were useless in trying to access a user’s account.
Data breaches have steadily become more in frequency and severity. While Yahoo released their latest information on Tuesday, the former chief of credit agency, Equifax, was questioned in Congress regarding a data breach in their system. This data breach compromised sensitive information such as social security numbers and credit card details of 145.5 million people.
Yahoo’s hack cost a lot of financial damage to the company and its executive. Former chief executive of Yahoo, Marissa Mayer, notably gave up her 2016 cash bonus after the hack, and the company’s senior lawyer, Ronald Bell, resigned after the attack.
Since the data breach, 43 different consumer class-action lawsuits have been filed against the company according to Yahoo.
The huge data breach also made the company less lucrative. In February, Verizon Communications lowered their original offer with $350m for the company following the onslaught of cyber attacks aimed at Yahoo.
The eventual closing deal was first announced in July and stated that Verizon paid $4.48bn for Yahoo’s core business. The deal was notably delayed by the attacks as both companies assessed damages and launched investigations regarding the data breach.
While the number of compromised accounts is staggering, a Yahoo spokesperson stressed that a large part of the 3 billion hacked accounts were accounts that were opened but never or hardly used.