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Yahoo says one billion accounts exposed in newly discovered security breach

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, December 15th, 2016

The Yahoo logo is shown at the company’s headquarters in Sunnyvale, California April 16, 2013. The company will release its quarterly results on Tuesday.
REUTERS/ROBERT GALBRAITH

Yahoo Inc warned on Wednesday that it had uncovered yet another massive cyber attack, saying data from more than 1 billion user accounts was compromised in August 2013, making it the largest breach in history.

The number of affected accounts was double the number implicated in a 2014 breach that the internet company disclosed in September and blamed on hackers working on behalf of a government. News of that attack, which affected at least 500 million accounts, prompted Verizon Communication Inc to say in October that it might withdraw from an agreement to buy Yahoo’s core internet business for $4.83 billion.

Following the latest disclosure, Verizon said, “we will review the impact of this new development before reaching any final conclusions.”

A Yahoo spokesman told Reuters that the company has been in communication with Verizon during its investigation into the breach and that it is confident the incident will not affect the pending acquisition.

Yahoo required all of its customers to reset their passwords – a stronger measure than it took after the previous breach was discovered, when it only recommended a password reset.

Yahoo also said Wednesday that it believes hackers responsible for the previous breach had also accessed the company’s proprietary code to learn how to forge “cookies” that would allow hackers to access an account without a password.

“Yahoo badly screwed up,” said Bruce Schneier, a cryptologist and one of the world’s most respected security experts. “They weren’t taking security seriously and that’s now very clear. I would have trouble trusting Yahoo going forward.”

Yahoo was tentative in its description of new problems, saying the incident was “likely” distinct from the one it reported in September and that stolen information “may have included” names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, hashed passwords and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.

It said it had not yet identified the intrusion that led to the massive data theft and noted that payment-card data and bank account information were not stored in the system the company believes was affected.

Yahoo said it discovered the breach while reviewing data provided to the company by law enforcement. FireEye Inc’s Mandiant unit and Aon Plc’s Stroz Friedberg are assisting in the investigation, the Yahoo spokesman told Reuters.

The breach is the latest setback for Yahoo, an internet pioneer that has fallen on hard times in recent years after being eclipsed by younger, fast-growing rivals including Alphabet Inc’s Google and Facebook Inc.

Hours before it announced the breach on Wednesday, executives with Google, Facebook and other large U.S. technology companies met with President-elect Donald Trump in New York. Reflecting its diminished stature, Yahoo was not invited to the summit, according to people familiar with the meeting.

The Yahoo spokesman said Chief Executive Marissa Mayer was at the company’s Sunnyvale, California headquarters to assist in addressing the new breach.

Yahoo shares were down 2.4 percent to $39.91 in extended trading. Verizon shares were little changed from their close at $51.63.

(Reporting by Jim Finkle in Boston and Anya George Tharakan in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Dustin Volz in Washington and Jessica Toonkel in New York; Editing by Savio D’Souza, Bernard Orr)

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Uber breach, cover-up trigger government probes around the globe

by UNTV   |   Posted on Thursday, November 23rd, 2017

The scope of the repercussions Uber will face for the October 2016 data breach began to take shape Wednesday with governments around the world opening investigations.

Authorities in Britain, Australia, and the Philippines said they would investigate Uber’s response to the data breach. London’s transport regulator, which has been in discussions with Uber after stripping it of its license to operate, said it was pressing Uber for details.

Canada’s privacy watchdog said that it had asked Uber for details on the breach, though it had not launched a formal investigation.

Attorney general offices in at least six U.S. States along with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) have announced they are looking into the matter. Some states are likely to go after Uber for breaking laws on data breach notification within a reasonable period of time.

Uber said that it has been in touch with the FTC and several states to discuss a hack and pledged to cooperate.

Uber fired its chief security officer, Joe Sullivan, and a deputy, Craig Clark, over their role in handling the hack. — Reuters

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Malacañang supports indictment of COMELEC over data leak

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Friday, January 6th, 2017

The Malacanang has agreed with the action taken by the National Piracy Commission against COMELEC in connection with the massive data breach of voters’ information in March 2016.

Malacanang has expressed support over National Privacy Commission’s  (NPC) move to recommend the filing of criminal charges against the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) and chairman Andres Bautista for the so-called ‘Comeleak‘.

WATCH: “Don’t blame me on COMELEC data leak.” – Chairman Bautista

Communications Secretary Martin Andanar said the Palace is commending the NPC for siding with the people whose privacy had been violated.

This is in connection with the massive data breach in March 2016 involving the release on the internet of sensitive information of more than 15-million voters like fingerprints and passport data.

Andanar calls on the  to release a report on or conduct an investigation into the data breach to maintain the credibility and integrity of the country’s electoral process.

Andanar also noted that COMELEC should protect not just the votes but also the voters.

NPC has earlier said that the personal information of every Filipino should be protected.

“Kailangan ng pag-iingat dito. ‘Yung prevention and mitigation, ‘yun ang dinidiin ng batas na ito. Kaya nga ito pinaparusahan dito hindi lamang ‘yung may ginawa kundi yung hindi gumawa kasi yun ang esensya ng batas – proteksyunan ang personal information ng ating mamamayan,” said NPC chair Raymund Liboro.

(There has to be extreme care in matters like this one. The law emphasizes prevention and mitigation that is why it punishes not just the violator but also those who did nothing to prevent the violation. This is because the essence of the law is to protect the personal information of the public.) — Aga Caacbay | UNTV News & Rescue

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Yahoo to spin off Alibaba stake despite no U.S. tax ruling

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, September 29th, 2015

Employees play table tennis inside the headquarters office of Alibaba (China) Technology Co. Ltd on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province May 21, 2012. REUTERS/STEVEN SHI

Employees play table tennis inside the headquarters office of Alibaba (China) Technology Co. Ltd on the outskirts of Hangzhou, Zhejiang province May 21, 2012.
REUTERS/STEVEN SHI

Yahoo Inc (YHOO.O) said on Monday it would proceed with the planned spinoff of its stake in Alibaba Group Holding Ltd (BABA.N) even though the IRS has declined to rule on whether the transaction would be tax free.

Yahoo’s shares rose 4 percent to $28.71 in extended trading.

The Web search company said earlier this month the IRS had denied its request for a private letter ruling on whether the spinoff of its stake in the Chinese e-commerce giant would be considered tax free.

The spin-off will remain subject to certain other conditions including the receipt of a legal opinion on the tax-free treatment of the deal under U.S. federal tax laws, Yahoo said in a regulatory filing. (1.usa.gov/1FxLxDD)

Based on Alibaba’s Monday close of $59.24, Yahoo’s 384 million shares of Alibaba are worth $22.75 billion.

The value of the stake is slightly less than Yahoo’s market capitalization of about $25.98 billion based on 941 million shares outstanding on July 31 and Monday’s close.

Many analysts say Yahoo’s core business is worth close to nothing without its Asian assets.

As of Monday’s close, Yahoo’s shares have declined a little more than 45 percent this year. Alibaba’s shares have fallen nearly 45 percent over the same period.

Investors have closely followed plans for the spinoff, seeing it as a way to unlock value from the company.

Yahoo paid $1 billion in 2005 for a 40 percent stake in Alibaba, in a deal credited to the U.S. company’s co-founder Jerry Yang.

Yahoo, which expects to complete the deal in the forth quarter ending Dec. 31, has been trying to revive its core online advertising business by spending more to get users on its websites.

Analysts and shareholders believe the company and its stake in Alibaba would be worth more separately, as long as the spinoff is not subject to tax incurred from selling the shares.

(Reporting by Devika Krishna Kumar in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Sneha Banerjee; Editing by Maju Samuel and Richard Chang)

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