Yahoo shocked the world in September when it revealed that about 500 million user data may have been stolen in a 2014 breach. Credentials like telephone numbers, birthday, email addresses and even passwords were reportedly stolen in that breach as the United States government has largely accused Russia and China of economic espionage.
This time though, Yahoo is reporting a breach double the size of the 2014 breach. The company said over 1 billion users accounts may have been stolen in a separate 2013 breach making it the largest ever in internet history.
This makes the latest revelation the second after Verizon announced it would be buying the Yahoo for $4.83b last July. Yahoo had failed to disclose this according to sources which led some to believe that Verizon was now seeking a $1b discount on its original offer but since then we haven’t heard much about that and that’s not to say it’s not in the works.
But a Verizon said “we will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions.”
These revelations just keep computing the troubles of an already struggling company and in light of this, Yahoo could be a liability to Verizon. Bruce Schneier who is a cryptologist and a security expert told Reuters that “Yahoo badly screwed up…they weren’t taking security seriously and that’s now very clear. I would have trouble trusting Yahoo going forward.” Before Schneier’s statement, users are reportedly dumping their Yahoo accounts after security and spy revelations because you see back in October, news reports had it that Yahoo was one of few tech companies that actually helped the government spy on you. Yahoo has since denied this but that coupled with security breaches is hurting the Yahoo brand which is why many believe Verizon may be working on renegotiating the entire deal.
But the big question is when did Yahoo learn about the breach? It said it only got to know after it reviewed information sent to it by law enforcement; maybe FBI. This could only mean two things, either Yahoo didn’t honestly know about this and that in itself presents a huge problem or it knew and covered it up for the Verizon deal to pull through first. But there is a bigger conspiracy theory and it’s that Yahoo may want the deal between it and Verizon not to go through again seeing as the asking price is low for a company that used to be worth $128b. Maybe Yahoo is looking at repairing the damages and rebranding for a stronger future merge/acquisition. But like I said, it’s a theory and a conspiracy one at that but it’s a world of surprises.
Yahoo shares were down 2.4 percent to $39.91 in extended trading. Verizon shares were little changed from their close at $51.63.
Image: CNN Money