Yahoo announced Wednesday that it was hacked in April 2013, compromising the data of more than one billion users.
News of the 2013 cyberattack, believed to be the largest in U.S. history, comes on the heels of a 2014 Yahoo breach, which was revealed in September, which affected at least 500,000 accounts, according to Reuters. Verizon had threatened to walk away from a $4.83 billion agreement to purchase Yahoo after the first hacking incident was announced, the news service noted.
"As we previously disclosed in November, law enforcement provided us with data files that a third party claimed was Yahoo user data," Bob Lord, Yahoo's chief information security officer, said in a statement on Yahoo Tuesday. "We analyzed this data with the assistance of outside forensic experts and found that it appears to be Yahoo user data.
"Based on further analysis of this data by the forensic experts, we believe an unauthorized third party, in August 2013, stole data associated with more than one billion user accounts. We have not been able to identify the intrusion associated with this theft. We believe this incident is likely distinct from the incident we disclosed on Sept. 22, 2016," Lord's statement continued.
Lord wrote that the stolen information could have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.
He wrote in the Yahoo statement that it appeared the stolen information did not include passwords in clear text, payment card data, or bank account information.
Lord suggested that the Yahoo users changer their passwords and security questions, review their accounts for suspicious activities, and be cautious about unsolicited communication that ask for personal information, including emails that ask you to download attachments.
"We are notifying potentially affected users and have taken steps to secure their accounts, including requiring users to change their passwords," Lord wrote. "We have also invalidated unencrypted security questions and answers so that they cannot be used to access an account."
In July, Verizon agreed to buy Yahoo, but its earlier hacking disclosure led to the speculation that the company might demand a $1 billion discount on its purchase, reported TechCrunch.
"As we've said all along, we will evaluate the situation as Yahoo continues its investigation," a Verizon spokesperson told TechCrunch Wednesday. "We will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions."
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