The world of technology and the internet is something that we want to run smoothly and without any glitches. We use information technology every day, but most of the time we don’t want to spend any time thinking about it. We would much rather have it just work seamlessly without us paying any attention to it.
Data security is usually an afterthought and we simply have the expectation that everything will be alright. Also, we trust large companies and their infrastructure to protect our data and our privacy. Most people are used to providing personal information online and don’t give it much thought. But even large companies can fall victim to security breaches. And that puts a lot of personal data at risk.
This Thursday Yahoo came out with the news that information and data was stolen from the company. It happened back in 2014 and the company had remained silent up to now about the incident. But now Yahoo has decided to talk about it and let users now about what had happened. The amount of data was very large, the largest in recorded history. It comprised information from at least 500 million Yahoo accounts.
Among the things that Yahoo has said is the fact that right now the company believes that the hack was a state-sponsored initiative. The allegations that Yahoo is making come after several other incidents where hacks looked like they had state actors behind them and not just hackers. The implications every single time were serious. Information leaked seemed to fit a certain agenda. The fact that countries are sponsoring hacks to further their geopolitical ends is a change in a negative direction.
The Yahoo hack targeted information from over half a billion people. The information that the hackers likely obtained was names and dates of birth as well as email addresses and telephone numbers. In some cases, they also gained access to security questions and answers, even encrypted ones.
Secure Your Account
We are increasingly reliant on the internet. We use it every day for business as well as personal issues. It is such a big part of our lives that we are willing to put up with a less than perfect internet. Security breaches are not uncommon and we have become accustomed to them. So, most of the time we shrug off the news that there has been a hack.
Yahoo made recommendations regarding how to proceed. If you have a Yahoo account and you haven’t changed your password since 2014 you should do it now. It is a good idea to change your password regularly anyway. If you haven’t done that since 2014, your account could be among those that were retrieved during the hack.
Also, Yahoo said that they are notifying users and making efforts to secure their accounts. They are asking users to get new passwords and invalidating security questions that are not encrypted.
Image source: Wikipedia.