Yahoo announced on Thursday that it believes information associated with at least 500 million user accounts was stolen by a “state-sponsored actor” at the end of 2014.

Cyber security experts believe that this was the largest-known breach of user accounts. Russian hackers are suspected as being behind the breach.

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More users were reportedly impacted in this one incident than all of last year, according to the 2016 Internet Security Threat Report produced by security company Symantec.

Since the announcement of the breach, two lawsuits have been filed against the company, both in California, alleging that it was negligent in securing users’ personal information.

What was taken?

The stolen information could include names, email addresses, dates of birth, telephone numbers, password information and possibly the question-answer combinations for security questions, which are often used to reset passwords, said Yahoo in a statement.

However, Yahoo said that the passwords that were compromised were hashed, a way of encrypting data.

The stolen information did not include unprotected passwords, payment card data or bank account information, according to Yahoo.

 

What can you do?

Change your password. Yahoo recommends “that users who haven’t changed their passwords since 2014 do so,” the company said in its statement. Cyber security experts say this is the necessary first step.

Security experts also recommend signing up for “two-factor authentication,” make sure passwords are complex and unique, and make all software is up-to-date and patched.

Use different passwords on different accounts, Far too many users use the same password for different services

 

If you are in any doubt as to what your next step is – contact us today on 042-9335355