In September, Yahoo announced it had been hacked, and that data from 500 million users had been compromised. A few days ago, the company announced it was hacked a second time, this time with 1 billion users’ data being compromised. Both attacks occurred back in 2013, and hacked data has reportedly been for sale on the dark web.
News about the attacks came to light after Yahoo struck a deal with telecom giant Verizon, in which the internet giants’ core business would be sold to the telecommunications company for $4.83 billion. The sale is now in jeopardy.
According to Andrew Komarov, Chief Intelligence Officer at cybersecurity firm InfoArmor, all of the hacked data has been for sale on the dark web, and has been sold at least three times for $300.000. Two buyers were large spamming groups, and one is believed to be a foreign intelligence agency, as Bloomberg reports. Since the information is now public, bids for the stolen data are now at $20.000 to $50.000.
Over 150.000 U.S. government and military employees were included in the data breach. InfoArmor reportedly found out about the hack before Yahoo made it public. The firm gained access to a copy of the database and alerted authorities in the U.S., Canada, Australia Britain and the European Union, according to The New York Times.
InfoArmor reportedly chose not to alert Yahoo directly, as the company was dismissive of their efforts to do so. Mr. Komarov also believed Yahoo wasn’t trustworthy as it coud affect the company’s deal with Verizon.
InfoArmor got all of this information as it had been surveilling an Eastern European hacker group, known as Group E. The group, according to Andrew Komarov, isn’t “state-sponsored” as Yahoo said. Group E is composed of professional cybercriminals who make most of their money selling stolen data, as they have attacked other companies such as MySpace, Dropbox, and Russian social network VK.com.
Verizon may exit deal with Yahoo
Yahoo’s main asset are its users, and with 1 billion accounts compromised and with data for sale on the dark web, its value significantly goes down. According to Bloomberg, Verizon is now looking into a possible price cut from the $4.83 billion deal. In fact, the company may even exit the deal altogether.
Bloomberg states a legal team led by Verizon is assessing the damage caused by the data breaches. The company wants to make sure it doesn’t suffer any legal consequents as backlash from the acquisition.
Verizon is currently under pressure from shareholders. Its response to the situation came in the form an e-mail statement:
As we’ve said all along, we will evaluate the situation as Yahoo continues its investigation(…). We will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions.
Yahoo’s shares went down as much as 6.5% after the data breach was made public.
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