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Yahoo confirmed massive data breach

Yahoo confirmed massive data breachHackers stole personal information from 500 million of Yahoo user accounts, the company disclosed the breach on Thursday. The massive security breakdown it attributed to a “state sponsored actor.”

The high-tech thieves hacked into Yahoo’s data centres in late 2014, the company said. But Yahoo only recently discovered the break-in as part of an ongoing internal investigation.

The stolen data includes users’ names, email addresses, telephone numbers, birth dates, hashed passwords, and the security questions — and answers — used to verify an accountholder’s identity.

"We take these types of breaches very seriously and will determine how this occurred and who is responsible," the agency said in an emailed statement Thursday.

Last month, the tech site Motherboard reported that a hacker who uses the name “Peace” boasted that he had account information belonging to 200 million Yahoo users and was trying to sell the data on the web.

Yahoo recommends that users change their passwords if they haven’t done so since 2014. The company said its investigation so far hasn’t found any evidence that information about users’ bank accounts or credit and debit cards were swiped in the hacking attack. It said it has “no evidence” that the attacker is still in Yahoo’s network.

News of the security lapse could cause some people to have second thoughts about relying on Yahoo’s services, raising a prickly issue for the company as it tries to sell its digital operations to Verizon Communications for $4.8 billion.

Still Verizon said it doesn’t know enough about the Yahoo break-in to assess the potential consequences. “We will evaluate as the investigation continues through the lens of overall Verizon interests, including consumers, customers, shareholders and related communities,” the company said in a statement.

Earlier on Thursday technology news website Recode reported, citing its sources, Yahoo could confirm the breach by the end of the week.
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