After sharing the news that more than 500 million accounts were hacked back in 2014 earlier this year, Yahoo has more unfortunate news for their account holders. The search company said today that more than one billion accounts were compromised in another hack dating back to August 2013.
Names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates, hashed passwords, and security questions and answers were believed to be accessed in the hack reported today. Fortunately, bank account, credit/debit card information, and clear text passwords are believed to be safe from this specific hacking incident.
According to Yahoo, the hack was discovered when law enforcement provided them with what appeared to be Yahoo user data from an unknown source. Yahoo has yet to identify the specific point of intrusion, but says it is likely a separate incident from the 2014 hack announced earlier this year that broke into more than 500 million Yahoo accounts.
Yahoo has begun to notify users affected by the hack, and is already taking steps to secure their accounts. Mandatory password changes have been issued, and security questions on affected accounts have been invalidated, meaning they’ll have to be reset the next time those users login as well. In addition, Yahoo recommends that users change any passwords that may have been used for Yahoo accounts and “review all of their online accounts” to check for any suspicious activity.
One of the best ways to protect yourself from the hacks that have seemed to become so frequent as of late would be enable two-factor authentication on as many of your online accounts as it is available. While it may be an inconvenience to have to wait for a code to sign it, it could save a lot more time, should any of your accounts become hacked.
Things aren’t looking good for Yahoo, who is now dealing with 2 hacks covering over 1.5 billion accounts. Hopefully Verizon, who purchased Yahoo shortly before the first hacking incident, can help Yahoo clean up their hacked mess. Otherwise, it may be time to delete any remaining Yahoo accounts and move onto safer, more secure websites.