Understanding The Yahoo Hacks: Keeping Your Business Safe Online

29-12-2016 - Published by Nick Stansfield - Yahoo Hack

For the second time in the space of just three months, it was revealed a massive hacking scandal has once again had a significant impact on Yahoo – with an estimated one billion user accounts compromised by the breach (which occurred back in 2013).

This number is said to be double the amount of people who had their details leaked to hackers in a 2014 incident of a similar nature, and has served to highlight huge flaws in what many are calling an outdated system from the former technological innovators. The two incidents are believed to be linked.

The days of Yahoo leading the way on the internet are now well-and-truly a thing of the past, with cyber-attacks becoming the norm for the brand. Distressingly for shareholders, this will almost certainly cost them revenue in the long-term.
 

What Happened:

Roughly one billion accounts were infiltrated in the hack, with a wide range of personal data stolen by the scammers. Just some of the details reported to go missing include:

  • Full names
  • Email addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Dates of birth
  • Encrypted security questions and answers

Hackers were also able to view emails that had been both sent and received by users, with potentially intimate information such as bank details and credit card numbers made accessible to the cyber criminals.

Worryingly, despite the breach occurring way back in 2013, this is the first time it’s been revealed to the general public. It’s now expected to have an impact on the proposed $4.85bn buyout of Yahoo by Verizon.

 
Young woman sitting in cafe and using laptop computer

 

How it Happened:

It’s believed ‘forged cookies’ were at the heart of the attack. These pieces of code (in their true form) are intended to make it easier to access pages where a login is required – storing personal information and negating the need to enter your details every time you want access.

The forged version saw corrupted code scamming the Yahoo servers into thinking they were the original cookies. This allowed people who shouldn’t have had access to the info obtaining it without needing to know any passwords or login criteria.

The hackers were able to gain access to the accounts thanks to a previous theft of Yahoo’s main proprietary code – which gave programing clues as to how forged cookies could penetrate their system.

 

How Premier Stops Hackers in their Tracks:

We at Premier Choice Telecom are specialists at ensuring everything runs smoothly when it comes to the transfer and storage of personal data.

Our Data Centre service is as a unified cloud-based platform with the capability of storing all of a business’s information within the same location. Our centres are particularly efficient at preventing fraudulent access to data because:

  • They’re all situated within the UK (one base makes it easier to monitor)
  • They’re connected with multiple Tier 1 providers
  • All our centres have been certified as meeting the highest security requirements

With constant tech support keeping an eye on proceedings and customisable packages which suit every business uniquely, the Premier Choice Telecom data centres would have stood a far greater chance of preventing these scam attacks than Yahoo did.

A bold claim? Yes, but a fair one. In an age where Yahoo continue to fall behind the times, businesses such as Premier have taken the reigns and now provide a range of fantastic telephony and online services for companies.

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