Yahoo has admitted to being the victim of a huge hack involving a billion of its accounts.
Yahoo has admitted to being the victim of a huge hack involving a billion of its accounts. JOHN G. MABANGLO

Data hacked from a billion Yahoo accounts

YAHOO has admitted that hackers stole data from a billion user accounts in an attack that was unreported for more than three years.

In the past few months, Yahoo has owned up to being hit by the two biggest data breaches in history.

In September, it announced it had been hit by the world's biggest known hack. Now it has revealed an attack double that size.

The news could not have come at a worse time for Yahoo.

It reported yesterday that experts analysing its records in the lead-up to its intended buyout by Verizon had identified the mammoth attack, which occurred in August 2013.

Yahoo said in that hack of a billion customers, information stolen by the hackers included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and unencrypted security questions and answers that could be used to access people's accounts.

In the other hack, which targeted 500 million Yahoo users in 2014, Yahoo blamed "state-sponsored” hackers.

Yahoo also warned that forensic experts investigating the smaller hack had found a way that hackers forged cookies to allow them access to a person's account without using a password.

Yahoo recommends users change passwords, security questions and answer prompts for any accounts where they have used the same information as their Yahoo account.

It also urged its users to be suspicious of unsolicited emails and phone calls asking for personal information.

- NEWS CORP



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