Five hundred million Yahoo! account details stolen

Yahoo! account data stolen in largest ever hacking incident of its kind

Tags: Cyber crimeFlashpoint ( BusinessYahoo! Incorporated
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Five hundred million Yahoo! account details stolen It is not clear why Yahoo! has taken so long to announced the data theft. (Getty Images)
By  Mark Sutton Published  September 23, 2016

Yahoo! has revealed that hackers stole data from 500 million of its customers in a cyberattack in 2014.

The theft is the largest ever publicly-announced hack.

The hack, which Yahoo! believes to be a state-sponsored attack, took customer data including names, email addresses, passwords and security questions.

The incident has been under investigation by the FBI and security companies, but has only just been made public.

The web company is currently in the process of selling its core business to Verizon, and it is thought the news of the hack could affect the deal. Verizon, which announced the $4.8bn deal in July, told the BBC that it was only just made aware of the hack in the past two days.

Security researchers believe the attack may have been the work of a hacker known as ‘Peace of Mind' or ‘Peace', who recently offered around 200 million Yahoo! account details for sale on darknet trading site TheRealDeal Market

Vitali Kremez, Cybercrime Intelligence Senior Analyst at Flashpoint commented: "On August 2, 2016, Flashpoint became aware of an advertisement posted on TheRealDeal Marketplace by actor "peace_of_mind" (otherwise known as "peace") for the sale of some 200 million Yahoo account credentials. Peace_of_mind is the same actor whom Flashpoint previously reported as selling leaked MySpace and LinkedIn account credentials in May 2016. This actor, who is also a co-founder of TheRealDeal Marketplace, is considered highly credible based on past activity and feedback from customers."

Yahoo! is advising users to change their passwords.

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