Yahoo data breach one of history’s biggest

Last updated: 22 September 2016

Yahoo Data Breach - Office Photo
Photo: Yun Huang Yong

Yahoo data breach swells 2014 statistics to 1.5 billion compromised records

Apparently 2014 was a very good year to be a hacker. Big brands including Home Depot, JP Morgan Chase, and Sony Pictures Entertainment were among the notable victims. And now you can add a Yahoo data breach to that list.

The company today announced that the information of 500 million of its users was compromised in 2014 as a result of what the company believes to be a state-sponsored attack.

Yahoo stated today that the compromised information may have included names, email addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers. However, the company does not believe the perpetrator still has access to its network.

Based on information available at the time, the Breach Level Index results found an estimated 1.02 billion records had been stolen or lost as the result of breaches in 2014. This latest breach news will bring that tally up to more than 1.52 billion — making what we at Gemalto called “The Year of Mega Breaches” even worse.

Yahoo breach is a record setter

Here are some of the biggest incidents in recent history the Yahoo data breach eclipses:

Organization Date
Records Compromised
Adobe September 2013 152 million
AliExpress December 2014 300 million
Anthem Insurance Companies January 2015 78.8 million
eBay May 2014 145 million
Home Depot September 2014 109 million
MySpace June 2013 427 million
Target November 2013 110 million
U.S. government (voter database) December 2015 191.3 million

In fact, this will be the second biggest single data breach ever recorded by the Breach Level Index database since it began operation in 2013.

Only a hack by Russia’s CyberVor gang that compromised 1.02 billion records in 2014 is larger.

Yahoo is in the process of selling its core internet and email services business to Verizon for $4.83 billion. It’s currently unclear how or if this will impact that acquisition.

However, Verizon’s Bob Varettoni did react on Twitter, saying:

Yahoo’s complete announcement can be found here.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to change my Yahoo password.

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