Massive Yahoo Hack ? 500 Million Accounts Compromised !FULL!
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The FSB officer defendants, Dmitry Dokuchaev and Igor Sushchin, protected, directed, facilitated and paid criminal hackers to collect information through computer intrusions in the U.S. and elsewhere. In the present case, they worked with co-defendants Alexsey Belan and Karim Baratov to obtain access to the email accounts of thousands of individuals.
As you consider your various accounts, think about which ones you no longer need. It might be a good idea to close them. Otherwise, you may be offering up user names and passwords, not to mention whatever other personal information those accounts hold, to the next hacker.
Hints of an epic breach came in summer, when a dark web dealer called Peace offered 200 million usernames and passwords of Yahoo users on a Tor-based market called The Real Deal, as reported by Vice Motherboard. Rumours then emerged Yahoo was ready to admit the breach, but it's now confirmed the hack was even bigger than first indicated.
Following rumors that an announcement was soon to come, Yahoo! said Thursday that hackers managed to access data from at least 500 million user accounts in a cyberattack dating back to 2014.
The Yahoo "hacker for hire" Karim Baratov, charged with helping Russian intelligence officers access compromised Yahoo email accounts, received a sentence of five years in prison, as well as a fine amounting to the forfeiture of all his remaining assets.
Baratov, a 23-year-old Kazakh native, was a Canadian national at the time of his arrest last year in Canada for his role in one of the largest breaches ever uncovered: the 2014 exposure of 500 million Yahoo email accounts.
According to the Justice Department's announcement of the sentencing, Baratov's function in the caper was to hack the webmail accounts of "individuals of interest to his co-conspirator who was working for the FSB" (Federal Security Service) and sending the account passwords to an FSB agent in exchange for money.
"It's difficult to overstate the unprecedented nature of this conspiracy, in which members of a foreign intelligence service directed and empowered criminal hackers to conduct a massive cyber-attack against 500 million victim user accounts," said Special Agent in Charge John F. Bennett in the announcement. "Today's sentencing demonstrates the FBI's unwavering commitment to disrupt and prosecute malicious cyber actors despite their attempts to conceal their identities and hide from justice."
"Beginning no later than 2014," read the indictment released last year, "the conspirators stole non-content information regarding more than 500 million Yahoo user accounts as a result of their malicious intrusion. The theft of user data was part of a larger intrusion into Yahoo's computer network, which continued to and including at least September 2016. As part of this intrusion, malicious files and software tools were downloaded onto Yahoo's computer network, and used to gain and maintain further unauthorized access to Yahoo's network and to conceal the extent of such access."
Baratov pleaded guilty in December to nine felony hacking charges, out of the 48 charges he faced for his role in accessing the private email accounts of journalists, U.S. and Russian government officials and private sector employees of financial, transportation and other companies. The Yahoo hacker was arrested in Canada in March of last year; Baratov was the only defendant arrested and prosecuted of the four men indicted in the case.
500 million Yahoo users are discovering that not only might hackers know their names and email addresses (potentially helping criminals craft malicious attacks and phishing campaigns) but they also have their phone numbers and dates of birth.
Earlier today, as rumours spread widely across the net that Yahoo was about to officially confirm a massive data breach, there was a huge spike in traffic to this site coming to an article about how to better protect Yahoo accounts.
another question is also if the detection is linked to recent 0-day vulnerabilities and tools which were stolen from NSA. Did yahoo realize they were hacked by NSA unpublished holes (probably used by hackers too)?
This latest disclosure triples the number of accounts compromised by the major 2013 data breach that the company disclosed late last year. At the time, Yahoo said hackers had stolen data associated with 1 billion user accounts; the new disclosure escalates that number to 3 billion.
As originally announced, hackers in the 2013 breach stole account information such as names, email addresses, phone numbers, birth dates as well as hashed passwords and security questions and answers. Yahoo, now known as Oath, says in late 2016 it forced password changes for all accounts that haven't done so since 2013 and invalidated old security questions and answers.
Over the course of 2016, Yahoo set and then beat its own record for the largest-ever disclosed data breach. Last September, Yahoo reported an incident affecting 500 million accounts that took place in 2014. Then, in December, came the disclosure of the 2013 hack, which was presented as "likely distinct."
The four men engineered the intrusion into Yahoo beginning in January 2014 that compromised 500 million email accounts, the federal complaint alleges and together face 47 criminal charges, including conspiracy, computer fraud, economic espionage, theft of trade secrets and aggravated identity theft.
He also created an online marketing scheme that redirected Yahoo search results for erectile dysfunction drugs to another online website so he could earn commissions. On another occasion, he used his access to the contacts in 30 million accounts to create a spam campaign, the feds say.
Though it had long stopped being the powerhouse that it once was, social media site MySpace hit the headlines in 2016 after 360 million user accounts were leaked onto both LeakedSource.com and put up for sale on dark web market The Real Deal with an asking price of 6 bitcoin (around $3,000 at the time).
Yahoo disclosed that a breach in August 2013 by a group of hackers had compromised 1 billion accounts. In this instance, security questions and answers were also compromised, increasing the risk of identity theft. The breach was first reported by Yahoo while in negotiations to sell itself to Verizon, on December 14, 2016. Yahoo forced all affected users to change passwords and to reenter any unencrypted security questions and answers to re-encrypt them.
In November 2018, Marriott International announced that hackers had stolen data about approximately 500 million Starwood hotel customers. The attackers had gained unauthorized access to the Starwood system back in 2014 and remained in the system after Marriott acquired Starwood in 2016. However, the discovery was not made until 2018.
In June 2012, LinkedIn disclosed a data breach had occurred, but password-reset notifications at the time indicated that only 6.5 million user accounts had been affected. LinkedIn never confirmed the actual number, and in 2016, we learned why: a whopping 165 million user accounts had been compromised, including 117 million passwords that had been hashed but not "salted" with random data to make them harder to reverse.
In October 2013, 153 million Adobe accounts were breached. The data breach contained an internal ID, username, email, encrypted password and password hint in plain text. The encryption was weak and many were quickly resolved back to plain text, the password hints added to the damage making it easy to guess the passwords of many users.
In February 2018, the diet and exercise app MyFitnessPal (owned by Under Armour) suffered a data breach, exposing 144 million unique email addresses, IP addresses and login credentials such as usernames and passwords stored as SHA-1 and bcrypt hashes (the former for earlier accounts, the latter for newer accounts). In 2019, this sensitive data appeared listed for sale on a dark web marketplace and began circulating more broadly, so it was identified and provided to data security website Have I Been Pwned.
Quora, a popular site for Q&A suffered a data breach in 2018 exposed the personal data of up to 100 million users.The types of leaked data included personal information such as names, email addresses, encrypted passwords, user accounts linked to Quora and public questions and answers posted by users. There was no evidence discovered that anonymously posted questions and answers were affected by the breach.
MyHeritage, a genealogical service website was compromised, affecting more than 92 million user accounts. The breach occurred in October 2017, but wasn't disclosed until June 2018. A security researcher discovered a file on a private server containing email addresses and encrypted passwords. The security team at MyHeritage confirmed that the content of the file affected the 92 million users, but found no evidence that the data was ever used by the attackers. MyHeritage earned praise for promptly investigating and disclosing details of the breach to the public.
Though a slightly different type of data breach as the information was not stolen from Facebook, the incident that affected 87 million Facebook accounts represented the use of personal information for purposes that the affected users did not appreciate. Cambridge Analytica was a data analytics company that was commissioned by political stakeholders including officials in the Trump election and pro-Brexit campaigns. Cambridge Analytica acquired data from Aleksandr Kogan, a data scientist at Cambridge University, who harvested it using an app called "This Is Your Digital Life". One of the most controversial elements of this breach was that users did not appreciate or consent to the political usage of data from a seemingly-innocuous lifestyle app. UpGuard's researchers also discovered and disclosed a related breach by AggregateIQ, a Canadian company with close ties to Cambridge Analytica. Details about these discoveries can be found in our Aggregate IQ breach series (part 1, part 2, part 3 and part 4). 2b1af7f3a8