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Yahoo Data Breaches: Cybersecurity & Transparency Lessons | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware | #hacking | #aihp


Yahoo Data Breaches: A Lesson in Cybersecurity Failures and the Need for Transparency

The cyber-attack on Yahoo in 2013 and 2014, which affected a staggering 500 million and three billion accounts respectively, remains one of the most significant cybersecurity incidents to date. Russian cybercriminals and state-sponsored entities exploited Yahoo’s systems, leading to the sale of access to these accounts on the Dark Web. Despite the magnitude of these breaches, cybersecurity experts lament the industry’s lack of progress in addressing the root causes that enabled these incidents.

A Breach Facilitated by Phishing and Outdated Encryption

The initial breach was enabled by a phishing email sent to a Yahoo employee. The successful deception led to the use of forged cookies, which facilitated unauthorized access to user accounts. Further exacerbating the problem was Yahoo’s use of outdated encryption for passwords and the widespread practice of password reuse among its users.

Yahoo’s Concealment and the Aftermath

Despite hiring Alex Stamos as the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to bolster its security protocols, Yahoo’s commitment to cybersecurity came under scrutiny when it was revealed that the company had intentionally concealed the breaches. This concealment persisted even during negotiations with Verizon for its buyout in 2017. The fallout from this revelation was severe, leading to a $35 million fine from the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and a reduced deal valuation.

A Shift Towards Transparency and Accountability

In the wake of the Yahoo breaches, the SEC has mandated that breaches must be disclosed promptly, within four days of discovery. This new requirement reflects a shift towards transparency and accountability in corporate governance and cybersecurity. It underlines the imperative for companies to prioritize not only their security infrastructure but also their approach to handling and reporting incidents when they occur.

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