Yahoo Data Breach Affects 500 Million Users

UPDATE 10/04/2016: According to Tech Times, a former Yahoo executive (who has remained anonymous in reports) stated that the Yahoo data breach may have compromised more users than the company originally reported. Initial reports put the number of affected users at around 500 million, but the former Yahoo executive says that the number could be between 1 and 3 billion.

Furthermore, Yahoo originally reported that the attack was most likely carried out by a “state-sponsored group.” But after a lack of evidence and a closer analysis of the behavioral traits of this attack, experts believe that the breach was more likely orchestrated by criminals. 

What happened?

After nearly two months of investigation, Yahoo has publicly confirmed that the company suffered a massive data breach. Names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, passwords and security questions of 500 million users were compromised in the attack.

Unfortunately, the company found that the attack was worse than initially expected. The company began investigating the possibility of a data breach back in August 2016 when a hacker named “Peace” dumped the information of 200 million Yahoo users on the Internet. “Peace” has also been alleged to be responsible for the massive LinkedIn and Myspace breaches that occurred earlier in this year.

Yahoo believes that the culprit behind the data breach was a “state-sponsored actor,” meaning that an individual acting on behalf of the government was responsible for the attack. According to officials, the breach occurred in late 2014.

Politicians have called for stricter regulations regarding companies notifying its customers when their data has been affected by a breach. Some speculate that the company hid the breach from its customers because of a $4.83 billion deal with Verizon for Yahoo’s core properties. 


What should you do?

If you think you’ve been affected by the Yahoo breach, follow these tips to help safeguard your information:

  • Change your password and security questions. Changing your login credentials will help avoid future unauthorized access to your account.
  • Make sure you are not reusing passwords. Using the same password for Yahoo on other sites increases the chance that hackers will be able to gain access into other accounts such as social media or online bank accounts.
  • Utilize two-factor authentication. Having two-factor authentication when logging into your Yahoo account will provide you with an extra layer of protection.

Be sure to follow Fighting Identity Crimes for updates on this story and to stay up-to-date on other breach and scam news.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of EZShield Inc. alone and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any other person or entity, including specifically any person or entity affiliated with the distribution or display of this content.

John is Corporate Counsel and Chief Privacy Officer of Sontiq, the parent company of the EZShield and IdentityForce brands. He is a Certified Compliance...
Read more about John Burcham.


  1. It seems as though the internet is not a safe place at all. Many company’s are getting breached and exposed. I’m really thinking about going back to the old days where you there was no internet and you had to personally hand right your information and only hand it to those who it was intended for. It appears to be much safer that way.


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