200 Million Yahoo Accounts for Sale on the Dark Web
Peace has claimed that the Yahoo database comes from 2012 most likely.
This is the same year that Marissa Mayer became Chief Executive Officer of Yahoo.
Peace is the same hacker who was reportedly selling stolen data of LinkedIn and MySpace users on the dark web.
Motherboard obtained a data sample of 5,000 records and found that some of the Yahoo usernames tested did match to actual accounts on the service.
Though, when Motherboard tried to contact more than 100 email addresses, many of the addresses returned as undeliverable.
The leaked database being sold on the dark web includes information such as usernames, dates of birth, and MD5-hashed passwords.
There are also some that have backup email addresses linked to specific accounts, country of origin, and ZIP codes for US-based users.
Since most of the passwords are MD5-encrypted, it makes them much easier to decrypt using available decoding software found on the internet.
Account holders are thus susceptible to hackers.
Recently, Verizon acquired Yahoo’s core business for $4.8 billion.
Therefore, it’s likely that the hacker decided to act now so as to gain maximum profits from the stolen user accounts before the information loses its value.
Yahoo Aware of the Data Leak
In a statement, the company said they are committed to safeguarding the security of users and take such threats to privacy very seriously.
The team in charge of data protection is working to determine what really happened.
Yahoo is striving to make its platform much safer for users; they are also encouraging people to create stronger passwords, or give up their passwords altogether by making use of the Yahoo Account Key, as well as using different login details for multiple platforms.
While the company hasn’t confirmed that the information being sold on the dark web consists of actual user credentials; they haven’t denied this allegation either.
The Yahoo security team is working to ascertain the dark web data leak facts; they are encouraging people to use password managers to secure their online accounts.
Users are advised to change their passwords regularly and keep longer, stronger ones by making use of good password managers.
People can also enable 2-factor authentication for their accounts, particularly if they are using the same login details for multiple sites.
With an estimated user base of around 1 billion visitors per month, the number of people who have been affected so far represents nearly a quarter of the total online traffic that Yahoo receives in a month.
The company is encouraging people to be more cautious.
Currently, hackers are increasingly targeting big companies due to their lucrative nature.
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