Earlier this year, Yahoo announced that 1 billion of its accounts were hacked. That made it the single-largest data breach ever in terms of the number of accounts. Today, Yahoo announced that it was even worse. All 3 billion of its accounts were compromised.
Yahoo said in a news release that it “obtained new intelligence” with the help of of “outside forensic experts.” Based on this new information, Yahoo can now say that “all Yahoo user accounts were affected” by the August 2013 breach.
Stolen user account data did not include clear-text passwords, credit card info, or bank details, Yahoo said. Though the hack is not an ongoing situation, Yahoo said it is continuing to work alongside law enforcement on the matter.
For comparison, 3 billion is more than the number of Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram users combined. This was the biggest hack in history, and it was just the latest for Yahoo, as a separate 2014 hack from a “state-sponsored” actor compromised some 500 million accounts.
Another element at play here is that the disclosure of the massive Yahoo data breach came during Verizon’s buyout of Yahoo. As GameSpot sister site CNET explains, Verizon was originally set to pay $4.83 billion for Yahoo but the price was slashed by $350 million following the revelation of the breach. The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) is reportedly investigating Yahoo to determine if it alerted users to the breach fast enough.
Verizon’s chief information security officer, Chandra McMahon said in a statement that Verizon is “committed to the highest standards of accountability and transparency, and we proactively work to ensure the safety and security of our users and networks in an evolving landscape of online threats.”
McMahon went on to pledge: “Our investment in Yahoo is allowing that team to continue to take significant steps to enhance their security, as well as benefit from Verizon’s experience and resources.”