The hack into the Yahoo database that happened in 2014, which we got to know in 2016, was one of the biggest hacks in the history of cyber threats. Not many would have thought that even such major IT giants would lose their data to hackers. When such major players lose the data it is not just the company that is in trouble but also the users. Yahoo users were in for a big shock after they heard about the big hack.
Cablegate and other similar organizations have been leaking information that reveals some of the world’s biggest secrets. These revelations make us realize that there is almost no privacy on the internet. Similar to Yahoo’s big hack, there have been other large cases of data breaches that have been brought to the limelight in the recent years.
Loss of user data:
In Yahoo’s hack, user data including the names, telephone numbers, email ids, passwords, birthdates and other sensitive information that users provide for their email account creation were lost to hackers. There was also a report that some of the users’ security questions and given relevant answers were tracked. This was a shocking revelation by Yahoo. This took all the Yahoo users by surprise as they were not sure if their records were also among those that were lost. The hack, though it was so massive, was found by Yahoo after almost 2 years since it happened. The loss of records of millions of users made big news. This is because Yahoo still remains one of the major email providers. Since then new software applications try to guarantee the personal data privacy. The HB Swiss, released recently, states that trader’s private information is 100% safe and won’t be shared with 3rd parties.
Who stole the data?
Yahoo refused to disclose the names of the organizations that were actually involved in the hack. What we got to know is that the major hack was done by some hacker sponsored by the state. So we are still in darkness about which country and which organization, in particular, stole the user records.
What can happen due to the theft of data?
As even the most sensitive information like the security questions as well as encrypted passwords were stolen, this hack is believed to be one of the gravest till date. This is mainly because there are several people who use the same passwords and the same security question and answers for authentication in various online portals. This would allow the hackers to gain access to various profiles and steal larger amount of data. Given they have the names and telephone numbers and the security questions, even stealing financial records would become simple for the hackers in some cases.
What should the users do?
The first step to start with would be to change the password. This time it would be a good idea to use a new password which they have not used anywhere else and one that does not include their name, telephone number or address or location in any form. Using stringent authentication methods and account verification would also help. This would prevent further loss of data. Yahoo has also stated that bank information and card details of the users in their database have not been compromised.