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Yahoo hack: is this the biggest in history?

Internet icon Yahoo! has revealed what might just be the biggest hack in recent history.

The company confirmed that a hack, which took place in 2014, saw details associated with 500 million user accounts being stolen. Who could be responsible for these actions? Well, the firm believes that these weren’t necessarily bedroom hackers acting on their own…

“A recent investigation by Yahoo! Inc. has confirmed that a copy of certain user account information was stolen from the company’s network in late 2014 by what it believes is a state-sponsored actor,” the company wrote in the statement.

Compromised account information may include “names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers”.

The Yahoo hack certainly rivals the likes of MySpace and Sony’s breaches, for starters

The company said that, at this stage, they believe payment information and unprotected passwords were not taken.

“Based on the ongoing investigation, Yahoo believes that information associated with at least 500-million user accounts was stolen and the investigation has found no evidence that the state-sponsored actor is currently in Yahoo’s network,” the company added.

Yahoo! has also taken steps to secure accounts of affected users.

“These steps include invalidating unencrypted security questions and answers so that they cannot be used to access an account and asking potentially affected users to change their passwords. Yahoo is also recommending that users who haven’t changed their passwords since 2014 do so.”

In terms of sheer numbers, the hack bests the MySpace hack, which saw a massive 427-million passwords stolen.

Author | Hadlee Simons

Hadlee Simons
Terrible puns make Hadlee Simons difficult to work with, but he brings over seven years of tech journalism experience to the table. When he's not at work or watching motorsport, he's in the foetal position on a jiu jitsu mat. More

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